These 90 Malicious Android and iOS Apps Spy on You and Display Fake Ads
Cyber attacks come in many forms, and some allow hackers to take control of your phone. Others steal personal information or sign you up for subscription services that are difficult to cancel. It’s not easy to tell if your phone has been compromised. Is someone watching everything you do? Tap or click here for some tips to diagnose a hacked phone.
This past summer, we reported on hundreds of apps being removed from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. And as we enter the fall, there are no signs that things will change.
Cybersecurity researchers uncovered around 90 malicious apps downloaded over 13 million times. We show you how these dangerous apps work and ways to avoid them.
This is not a game
A report by the Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team shows an alarming new crop of bad Android and iOS apps. These apps are an offshoot of the Poseidon ad scam that the team first discovered in 2019.
This latest adaptation of Poseidon, called Scylla, uses new techniques and keeps the culprits behind the apps better protected from detection. The apps consist of games, but there is no fun here.
Scylla’s weapon of choice is advertising fraud. Here are the attack methods:
- App spoofing: The app not only tricks people who download it, but it also tricks advertisers into thinking it’s a different type of application, so they place ads in it. For example, the malicious app pretends to be a very popular tool or pretends to be a streaming app to attract advertising revenue. In this case, the Scylla apps contained code masquerading as other, legitimate games.
- Ads out of context: Ads appear unexpectedly, for example on the home screen. In the case of Scylla, apps can be triggered by an action as simple as unlocking the phone.
- Hidden ads: These are ads that you don’t see, even though the app counts them as having been “seen” so that cybercriminals can make more money from the companies that placed the ads. The app tells advertising platforms that it has shown an ad to the user without ever having done so.
- Fake clicks: Advertisers really value clicks, and the bad guys know this. The code in the Scylla apps takes the information about your actual clicks (or taps, in the case of mobile phones) and forwards this information to advertisers as ad clicks.
The Satori team has worked closely with the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to ensure that all apps identified as part of the Scylla operation have been removed.
If you have any of the apps we’ve listed in the tables below, remove them right away.
Remove these harmful apps from your iPhone
|App name||File name|
|Loot the castle||com.loot.rcastle.fight.battle (id1602634568)|
|Run Bridge||com.run.bridge.race (id1584737005)|
|Shiny gun||com.shinning.gun.ios (id1588037078)|
|Racing Legends 3D||com.racing.legend.like (id1589579456)|
|Rope Runner||com.rope.runner.family (id1614987707)|
|Wood sculptor||com.wood.sculptor.cutter (id1603211466)|
|Critical Ninja Hit||wger.ninjacriticalhit.ios (id1514055403)|
How to delete an app from iPhone:
- Touch and hold the app.
- Press Remove the app
- Press Delete the appand then press Delete to confirm.
IMPORTANT: New iPhone and Android security features to turn on
Remove these harmful apps from your Android phone
|App name||File name|
|Superhero – Save the World!||com.asuper.man.playmilk|
|Magic Brush 3D||com.magic.brush.gamely|
|Shake Shake Sheep||com.shake.tearn.saue.causalgame|
|Number combination: Colored chips||com.yigegame.jyfsmnq.gg|
|Jackpot Scratcher Win Real||com.physicswingsstudio.JackpotScratchers|
|Ztime: Earn cash rewards easily||com.pocky.ztime|
|Lucky Wings – Lotto Scratchers||com.free.scratchers.luckywings|
|Lucky Star: Lotto Scratch||com.free.tickets.scratchers.LuckyLotto|
|Shake Shake Pig||com.ldle.merge.free.coinspiggy|
|Lucky Money Tree||com.ldle.merge.lucky.moneytree|
|Run and dance||com.tap.run.and.dance|
|Lucky Scratchers: Lotto cards||com.lotto.bingo.lucky.scratchcard|
|Pull the worm||com.pull.bugs.worm|
|Crowd Battle: Fight the bad guys||com.crowd.battle.goamy|
|Shoot Dummy – Win Rewards and Paypal Cash||com.shoot.dummy.fast.speed.linger|
|Find 10 differences||com.different.ti.spotgames|
|Find 5 Differences – New||com.find.five.subtle.differences.new|
|A line drawing||com.one.line.drawing.stroke.yuxi|
|Talent trap – NEW||com.talent.trap.stop.all|
|Shoot it: Use gun||com.bullet.shoot.fight.gtommm.tom|
|Five star disc||com.fem.stardisk|
|Mr Dinosaur: Play your Dino||com.topggame.facego.finger.crazy.dino|
|Track sliding New||com.track3d.sliding.new|
|Beat Kicker New||com.beat.kicker.two.game|
|Fill color 3D||com.cube.fill.color.paint.turn.fei|
|Draw 1 Stroke||com.draw.one.line.stroke.xipi|
|Shooting Puzzle 2020||com.my.shooting.man.hunter.youxi|
|Chop Flake 3D||com.slice.chop.superslice3d|
|Corn scraper||com.corn scraper.cut.pipe screening|
|Idling wood machine||com.idle.woodmaker.gametwo|
|Pop girls school student||com.pop.girls.schooler|
|Dig road balls||com.dig.roadballs.play.games.ygygame|
|Rush 2048: 3D Shoot Cubes||com.rushcube.puzzle.block|
|Auto stamp camera||com.stac.amper.qweaf|
|Design n Road||com.ltcdesign.nroad|
|The drawing is complete||com.ltcdraw.complete.fly|
|The Thief King||com.ltcking.thief.game.tsl|
|Draw a war||com.draw.war army|
|Spin: Letter Roll||come. letter roll run|
|Helicopter Strike – NEW||com.heliattack.shoot.sanba|
|War in painting||com.painting.war.inpaper|
|Bike Extreme Racing||com.bike.extreme.racing.bikegames|
|Player Spiral Maker 3D||com.player.spiral.maker.d3|
|Match 3 tiles||com.blocks.tile.matching|
|2048 Merge Cube – Win money||com.cube.merge.shooter|
To delete an app from your Android phone:
- To open Google Play Store app.
- Tap on the top right Profile icon.
- Press Manage apps and devices > Achieve.
- Tap the name of the app you want to delete.
- Press Uninstall.
Tips to keep you safe
- Turn on Google Play Protect by going to Google Play Store > Profile > Play Protect > Settings and turn on Scan apps with Play Protect.
- Keep your phone updated with the latest updates and fixes. We notify you about them at Komando.com. Tap or click here to try Kim’s free email newsletter to get the alerts straight to your inbox.
- Use two-factor authentication and password managers for better security. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
- Only download apps from official app stores. Always go to the official source and double check that you are installing the correct app.
- Watch out for apps that use a similar logo to other popular apps or have similar features. Also check reviews to see if others warn of suspicious activity.
- Pay attention to permissions. Stay away if an app wants full access to your text messages or notifications.
- Have reliable antivirus software on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan for TotalAV Internet Security for just $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!
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