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20,000 Android apps are afflicted by malicious adware

Researchers have found a new kind of adware that can latch onto popular apps.

Security researchers have discovered a new type of adware that inserts malicious ads into over 20,000 commonly used applications like Facebook, Snapchat, and more. Once the adware makes its way into the app, it then will release a new, fake version of the application onto a third party app store. The app works like the original, and the only difference is that the adware sneaks into the Android operating system and pulls up ad after ad, severely hurting the overall experience.

The catch is that this adware can not be removed by uninstalling the afflicted apps. Restoring the device to factory settings will not remove the malicious adware either. The researchers believe the only way to do so is to replace the device itself, which can be incredibly expensive and inconvenient. The best way to prevent this from happening, however, is to use the Google Play Store only and avoid third party app downloads.

Unfortunately, the security researchers believe that this issue could become worse still. They predict that the malware distributed will be more sophisticated and more able to exploit different parts of the Android devices. Already it can be seen that these malicious adware apps are gaining more capabilities, and can download third party apps directly without user consent. Hopefully action will be taken in the future by Google to try to warn users against using third party app stores and more. 


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Joseph Lambert, 2015-11- 7 (Update: 2015-11- 7)