Earlier this month, Google removed 29 malicious apps that sent users pornographic content and redirected them into phishing websites to accumulate their pictures. Google has again removed another 28 apps from its Play Store which were reported to not have a genuine functionality of its own and simply showed ads to generate money.
It was Quick Heal which first spotted these 28 fake apps which had registered over 48,000 installs on the Google Play Store, soon after which Google took the necessary steps to remove them from its platform. While the apps featured no functionality relative to its app name, it was noted that app apps were developed under the name “Sarvesh Developer”.
Among the apps that were removed were the ones named ‘Credit Card Process’ which describes to “provide credit card process” and another labelled as ‘Home Loan Advisor’ that suggested, “Gives advice for home loan”. Neither of the two had anything relevant inside the app but instead showed advertisements.
The apps came with the same functionality, suggesting tests for users to earn money. To complete a said task, a user was forced to watch an ad, click on it and download a set of other apps, claiming that after the successful accumulation of 10 points, money will be transferred to the user’s Paytm account. According to comments on Play store, the money never got transferred to Paytm.
It was also found that users were sent notifications saying “because of some issues payment was not done, today everyone will get the payment”. The fact that the message is in Hindi and the name is Sarvesh, it’s likely that the developer behind this is an Indian.
In order to not risk your phone, data and privacy to apps like these, make sure you read our thoughts on Mobile Security and how you can still keep it secure. You can also check out our take on App permissions and why it’s necessary to control which apps you give access to.