A team of cybersecurity researchers has found 35 apps that are sending malware to millions of Android users. Romanian cybersecurity technology company BitDefender reports that there is a new malware campaign on the Google Play Store where some apps are using fake information to trick victims into installing them, then changing their names, and aggressively serving ads.

Not only are these cybercriminals monetizing their presence on Google Play, they are also disrupting the user experience and these ads can link directly to malware.

Based on available public data, BitDefender's report says that these 35 malicious apps have a total of over two million downloads on the Google Play Store. They first lure Android users into installing them and soon after installation, they hide their presence on devices by changing their names as well as changing their icons.

These apps then start serving aggressive ads. Since they use different names to confuse the user and hide their presence, the apps become difficult to find and uninstall.

“Many legitimate apps offer ads to their users, but these guys serve ads through their own frameworks, which means they can also serve other types of malware to their victims. Most of the time, users can choose to delete the app if they don't like it. Users can still delete them (malicious apps) at will, but developers make it more difficult to find them on affected devices,” the report highlighted.

According to the Bitdefender report, these identified malicious apps are using new real-time behavior technology, which is designed to perform dangerous practices. A cybersecurity technology company says the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to avoid installing unnecessary apps.

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