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47 Dangerous Games Detected, 17 of them Still in the Play Store!

Android users should be careful with these and other applications that cause constant ads to appear that cover the screen.

47 Dangerous Games Detected, 17 of them Still in the Play Store!

Even though we have gotten some security protection from the Android platform or Google via Play Protect service. However, the user's role is also very important to note as well so as not to randomly download and install applications or games.

If you've ever seen those pesky full-screen ads on your Android phone, you're not alone. And no, it is not a way that Google has thought to show you ads, if not by malicious applications that often pose as normal games or even, ironically, by ad blockers.

Avast has recently discovered 47 games of this type that have this despicable behavior and has reported them to Google. Around 17 are still available for download, including Disc Go !, on the Google Play Store.

They contain a 'Trojan' that shows ads even if you are not running the application you have downloaded. It is part of the HiddenAds family, which Avast discovered by analyzing the activity, features, and information of applications that sent to and from the Internet.

Of the 47, seven had the ability to open your phone's web browser and show more ads.

Another thing these apps do is hide their own icon so you can't even see it's there. And even if you find it and delete it, the ads won't necessarily disappear.

As they are games, kids or young phone users are likely to download these apps without really noticing their low Google Play scores, or reading the reviews that warn others of the incessant ads.

"Campaigns like HiddenAds can sneak into the Play Store by obfuscating its true purpose or slowly introducing malicious features once they have already been downloaded by users. 

Adware campaigns are difficult to avoid, as these use unique developer accounts for each application While Google has been a great partner in removing malicious apps, users should remain vigilant while downloading new apps to their devices and check for telltale signs of a bad app, such as negative reviews, extensive device permission requests, and more, "says Jakub Vávra, threat analyst at Avast.

Often, developers avoid being detected by Google's self-checking systems - which try to scan apps for malware and this type of adware - by creating a new developer account for each app. Therefore, this is a sign that an application may be malicious.

This kind of thing has been going on for years, so it's not a new thing. Last year we reported on a similar discovery in which 238 applications were found to contain adware.

The 47 apps have been downloaded more than 15 million times, and the following table shows the 17 most popular ones, so don't install them (and warn your friends and family about them):

  • Draw Color by Number
  • Skate Board - New
  • Find Hidden Differences
  • Shoot Master
  • Stacking Guys
  • Disc Go!
  • Spot Hidden Differences
  • Dancing Run - Color Ball Run
  • Find 5 Differences
  • Joy Woodworker
  • Throw Master
  • Throw into Space
  • Divide it - Cut & Slice Game
  • Tony Shoot - NEW
  • Assassin Legend
  • Flip King
  • Save Your Boy
  • Assassin Hunter 2020
  • Stealing Run
  • Fly Skater 2020

How to avoid installing apps that display ads

  • Read reviews and see the app's rating on Google Play
  • See what permissions the application asks for and deny unnecessary ones
  • Install and use antivirus software for Android

The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to carefully review the application you are about to install. It's tempting when your child asks you to install a free game right away by looking at the description and hitting the 'Install' button.

But taking the time to review the reviews (like the ones above) and reading the on-screen prompts for permission to draw on other apps, accessing your contact list, and other stuff will save you the pain later.

The antivirus applications can also help block the installation of applications infested with adware, so it's worth taking a look at our recommendations on the best antivirus for Android if the phone in question has no software security.

Google is slowly improving to prevent dubious apps from appearing on the Play Store, but it's still a long way from completely eradicating them.

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