Even the most loyal of the Androids cannot deny the menace that is Android spyware and other existing malware that consistently attempts to leech the platform. Now, they have all the more to worry about as severely aggressive adware seems to be rampant on the platform. The security company Bitdefender gave some shocking stats alluding to the chunk of apps that contain adware and just so that we’re clear, we are not talking any ordinary adware, rather light years from that. The type of aggressive adware that creates shortcuts on a user’s screen and changes the default search engine’s configuration. According to the security vendor, the free Android apps containing spyware make up a huge 90% of the free apps, while up to 75% of them come with the adware that are much aggressive.
The historical roots and the metamorphosis
This phenomenon stemmed from PCs but seems quite a non-issue these days thanks to more conditioned users and software solutions both locally built into browser clients as well as third party solutions, making it easy to deal with them on PCs. Unfortunately for Android users, the type of adware that creates those annoying pop ups has made its transition from desktops to Android really successfully, if the 90% impregnation of free apps globally is to be taken seriously. The more significant as well as precarious figure is that of 75% related to aggressive adware plague. The applications that are coupled with such belligerent adware go to greater heights than just popping up unwanted screens- they can create shortcuts on the handset home screen, they change the settings for the default search engine and they can push notifications to the device’s notification tray. Most of these might seem just pestiferous at first but not only can they affect the phone’s performance but they also open a portal for all sorts of malware and scams by the virtue of these gallingly imposing actions they perform.
Bitdefender’s chief security researcher, Catalin Cosoi, points the finger at the very platform explaining that the permission system within Android includes no specifications about adware of the level of resources it can make use of, which consequently makes it really hard for the users to know about such chippy adware activity until the app is already installed.
Bitdefender Labs have also clarified that the most popular Android app which comes with aggressive adware is Ant Smasher, with 50 million downloads from the Google marketplace. The issue arises when the game is downloaded from third party sources and marketplaces, where the adware gets merged into the installation authorized by the user. Similarly, strains of Network Signal Booster come coupled with adware, which represent a million official downloads in Google Play, were discovered to reside on such third party marketplaces which deviled users with unwarranted ads and pop up messages. Well, the threats of such adware is as real as it gets and opens doorways to several other severe threats like mobile spy apps and other malware, so clichéd as it is, be safe and download your apps only from trusted sources.
Natalia David has been a regular contributor as tech writer, expert for some time now. Her work has received great appreciation from readers who turn to her to keep themselves updated with the latest happenings in tech world. You can also follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4