An app named Barcode Scanner that was present on Play Store since many years has now been removed from the Play Store as the app was detected with adware. The discovery was made by Malwarebytes.
Google removed the app as soon as it was made aware of the issue. Malwarebytes reported through a blog post that the users on its forums were reporting of a strange behaviour where the default browser on their phone was automatically opening websites which asked them to install another ‘Cleaner app’ claiming fake security issues.
‘The odd part is none of them had recently installed any apps, and the apps they had installed came from the Google Play store. Then one patron, who goes by username Anon00, discovered that it was coming from a long-time installed app, Barcode Scanner. An app that has 10,000,000+ installs from Google Play!’, the blog read.
Although Google has removed the app from the play store, it still remains installed on phones that have downloaded the app previously. So we would recommend uninstalling the app immediately if you have it installed.
As per Android Police, the app ‘was even part of Google’s official Play Pass program that offers subscribers some perks like ad-free or premium versions of apps at no additional cost’.
As per the report, an update pushed on 4th of December had injected the adware code into the app turning it malicious. Before this update, the app worked fine for users since many years and had no issues. If you are not able to see the app, you can head over to settings of your phone and search for the app in the App list.