The Google Play Store is once again home to infected apps. AppCensus computer security researchers have discovered the presence on the store of 11 applications capable of spying on users and collecting certain data such as GPS location or email addresses and telephone numbers.

google play store apps
Credits: Pixabay

Not a week goes by without a team of computer security researchers reporting a disturbing new discovery for Android users. In March 2022 alone, we remember these fake Android antiviruses capable of stealing your money, or even these very popular applications on the Play Store and the App Store which were in fact scams.

The revelation of the day, we owe it to computer security researchers from AppCensus. These experts have discovered the presence on the Google Play Store of 11 malicious applications, capable in particular of spying on users without their knowledge. What is worrying in this case is the number of downloads accumulated by these apps: more than 60 million. So many potential victims. Here is the list of affected applications:

  • Speed ​​Camera Radar
  • Al-Moazin Lite (Prayer Times)
  • Wi-Fi Mouse (Remote Control for PC)
  • QR & Barcode Scanner (developed by AppSource Hub)
  • Qibla Compass – Ramadan 2022
  • Simple Weather & Clock Widget (developer by Difer)
  • Handcent Next SMS-Text with MMS
  • SmartKit 360
  • Al Quran MP3 – 50 Reciters & Translation Audio
  • Full Quran MP3 – 50 Languages ​​& Translation Audio
  • Audiosdroid Audio Studio DAW

Also read: Android – Google will better protect users against unused applications

These apps may collect your GPS data

As you can see, this list is rather eclectic, between QR Code readers, weather apps, messaging, but also apps dedicated to the practice of Islam. According to the researchers, these malicious applications harbored malware capable of collecting several data from the victims’ smartphones, such as the e-mail address, telephone numbers and certain passwords or even GPS location history.

Worryingly, a suspicious company by the name of Measurement Systems apparently paid a fortune to collect this precise data via an SDK (software development kit) integrated into the aforementioned apps. The company did not wish to answer questions from our colleagues from the Wall Street Journal. After the AppCensus research was published, Google removed the affected apps from the Play Store.

However, they have just returned to the application store. If we suspect that Google has ensured that they are now safe, we invite you to immediately delete these apps if you have downloaded them before AppCensus researchers discovered them.

Source: Wall Street Journal