Science

Dangerous Android apps you need to uninstall right now

04 Feb 2018 | By Ramya Patelkhana
List of dangerous apps on Google Play Store

Stepping up its efforts to make Play Store a safe app store, Google took down over 700,000 dangerous apps last year.

Cybersecurity company Check Point listed 22 popular utility and flashlight Android apps -with advertising malware "LightsOut- that have 1.5-7.5 million downloads.

However, a lot of malicious apps are still available on Play Store, posing a huge risk to Android users.

Take a look.

In context: List of dangerous apps on Google Play Store

04 Feb 2018Dangerous Android apps you need to uninstall right now

DetailsAdvertising malware LightsOut overrides user decision to disable ads

Hackers and malicious developers are fooling Android users with LightsOut apps masked as utility apps with names like Super Flashlight Lite, WiFi Password Pro, and Voice Recorder Pro.

Check Point said these apps override the user's decision to disable ads on the screen by hiding the option to remove them.

After being notified by Check Point, Google reportedly removed some apps from Play Store.

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Malicious Wi-Fi apps with up to 500,000 downloads

Wi-Fi Apps Malicious Wi-Fi apps with up to 500,000 downloads

Check Point has listed many dangerous Android apps that claim to offer free Wi-Fi credentials/keys, hotspots, speed analyzers and boosters, and network guard, etc.

Some of them are: Master WiFi Key (100,000-500,000 downloads); Free WiFi Connect (100,000-500,000 downloads); WiFi Security Master - WiFi Analyzer, Speed Test (50,000-100,000 downloads); Free WiFi Pro (10,000-50,000 downloads); Network Guard (1,000-5,000 downloads); and Smart Free WiFi (1,000-5,000 downloads).

Flashlight AppsApps claiming to be useful Flashlight services spread LightsOut

Some app developers claiming to offer useful LED flashlight are also spreading LightsOut, according to Check Point.

Flashlight apps are among the most popular apps that spread advertising malware. They include Brightest LED Flashlight-Pro (10,000-50,000; Brightest Flashlight (10,000-50,000 downloads); Cool Flashlight (10,000-50,000 downloads); and LED Flashlight (1,000-5,000 downloads).

Users need to understand that they don't need third-party apps for using their smartphone's flashlight.

File sharing, transferring apps

Check Point has also listed popular file sharing app "File Transfer Pro" with 10,000-50,000 downloads among the dangerous apps. The app allows users to exchange or transfer any file format (apps, games, music, videos, photos, etc.) without an Internet connection or data cables.

Call, voice recordingThis "malicious" Call Recorder has up to 5 million downloads

Voice and call recorder apps are also among the malicious LightsOut apps.

Most smartphones have inbuilt voice/call recording features. Users should avoid installing apps offering features that are already present on their devices.

"Call Recorder" app is the most popular one with 1,000,000- 5,000,000 downloads, the highest on Check Point's list. Others include Call Recorder Pro (100,000-500,000 downloads) and Voice Recorder Pro (1,000-5,000 downloads).

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Device cleaners, boosterPopular device cleaning, boosting apps on the list

Apps offering tools for device optimization and boosting, battery saving, app lock, junk cleaner, CPU cooler, game booster, and storage space management and cleaning that claim to clean the phone and make it faster are also spreading LightsOut malware.

Some popular apps like Realtime Booster (10,000-50,000 downloads); Realtime Cleaner (10,000-50,000 downloads); and Dr. Clean Lite (1,000-5,000 downloads) are also among the malicious apps.

Android launcher apps, wallpaper apps, app shortcuts

Android launcher apps and those for creating app shortcuts, changing wallpapers, home screen looks and backgrounds, and customizable themes are also spreading LightsOut. Popular apps like "Smart Swipe" downloaded 50,000-100,000 times and "Wallpaper HD - Background" with 100,000-500,000 downloads are also on the list.

Is Nova Launcher safe?

Asked on 05-02-2018 by Anonymous
Answered by NewsBytes
Yes, the Nova Launcher by TeslaCoil Software is completely safe.
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I'm a Gionee M5 lite user. I can't get rid of "System Notification Service" which pops up even after disabling it.

Asked on 05-02-2018 by Anonymous
Answered by NewsBytes
You can follow the steps mentioned here to disable it- Go to Settings-- Google-- Security-- (Play Protect) and uncheck 'Scan Device for Security threats'. To read more about it, click here!
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