More than 60,000 Android apps are infected with ‘ad virus’, report reveals

Bitdefender researchers released last Tuesday (6) a report that highlights the presence of hidden malware in more than 60,000 applications on the Android operating system. According to experts, the malicious file is an adware whose focus is to insert advertising on the smartphone screen, generating revenue for the cybercriminal.

According to the study, this virus is being massively distributed in installers in .apk format β€” options downloaded outside the Play Store β€” in free VPN apps, cracked games or games with unlocked paid features, social networks without ads and on streaming platforms without monthly payment.

These modified applications can display pop-up windows in any area of ​​the system, including the home screen, or redirect the user to a deceptive page that may point to the download of more serious malware. In some cases, the victim may have their banking details and other sensitive information collected by scammers.

The research shows that there is a higher incidence of this virus in the United States, the country that leads the ranking with 55.27%, followed by others (12.19%), South Korea (9.8%) and, in fourth position, the Europe with 5.96%. The distribution of this adware began at the end of 2022, and it is possible that the number of infected apks exceeds 60,000.

Adware incidence on Android. | Image: Playback.

these results indicate the importance of users downloading applications only from the official Android store. instead of modified options that promise extra benefits for free. Experts claim that it is possible to replace adware with other more dangerous malicious formats, such as malware and spyware.

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Did you already know the distribution of this virus? Do you usually download apps outside the Play Store? Tell us, comment!