While we often think of worst-case scenarios when it comes to malicious software — stolen identities, drained bank accounts, or private information leaking — the ambitions of the bad actors behind the software are not always so grand. Sometimes, all a malicious app wants to do is make its creator a few bucks. Of course, they are still malicious, and now a new slate of Android apps with trojans has been uncovered on the Google Play store.
McAfee’s Mobile Research Team recently identified 16 Android apps with clicker trojans on Google Play. Android users downloaded the infected apps more than 20 million times before Google removed them from the store. Unfortunately, just because you can no longer get the apps doesn’t mean they aren’t on your phone or tablet.
The McAfee researchers explain that malicious code was lurking within a number of popular utility apps, such as flashlights, task managers, and QR readers.
Once installed, the malware starts browsing websites in the background, without the user’s knowledge, to generate fake views and clicks. Not only are you lining the pockets of ad fraud scammers, but the impact on your device can be significant.
While your phone is browsing websites in the background, your battery life will drop as if you are doing the browsing yourself. If you have any weird apps on your phone and your battery life isn’t what it used to be, you might now know why.
Needless to say, you should delete any apps using your phone as a click farm. Here’s the full list of Android apps with trojans that McAfee researchers found:
- High-Speed Camera (com.hantor.CozyCamera)
- Smart Task Manager (com.james.SmartTaskManager)
- Flashlight+ (kr.caramel.flash_plus)
- 달력메모장 (com.smh.memocalendar)
- K-Dictionary (com.joysoft.wordBook)
- BusanBus (com.kmshack.BusanBus)
- Flashlight+ (com.candlencom.candleprotest)
- Quick Note (com.movinapp.quicknote)
- Currency Converter (com.smartwho.SmartCurrencyConverter)
- Joycode (com.joysoft.barcode)
- EzDica (com.joysoft.ezdica)
- Instagram Profile Downloader (com.schedulezero.instapp)
- Ez Notes (com.meek.tingboard)
- 손전등 (com.candlencom.flashlite)
- 계산기 (com.doubleline.calcul)
- Flashlight+ (com.dev.imagevault)
Related: These fake Android antivirus apps steal banking info, so delete them now