Threat Database Malware AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA


By CagedTech in Malware

The Android OS is the most popular OS for mobile devices and thus is the one that cybercriminals tend to target most. Apart from all the malware produced for Android daily, there is less harmful, but nonetheless, very irritating software targeting Android users called adware. Adware does not harm the user directly but will annoy them certainly by bombarding them with advertisements constantly. Not only is this overwhelming and irritating but oftentimes the products and services that are being promoted are of very low-quality and sometimes outright shady. In July 2019 it was revealed that the Google Play Store is hosting over 100 suspicious applications.

Poses as a Legitimate Free Application

Among these applications was the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA. Once the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA gets installed it will waste on time and begin spamming the user with unwanted advertisements immediately. Of course, the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA is not marketed as an application that delivers advertisements. Instead, the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA gets installed alongside free applications silently like various games or camera-related application. However, not all such shady applications are hosted on the Google Play Store as it is not that easy to bypass the security checks it applies. A very large portion of dodgy applications like the ones related to the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA are often hosted on third-party websites and application stores for Android.

Self-Preservation and Persistence

It is impressive that the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA adware is capable of detecting whether it is being run in a sandbox environment. This threat can detect software used for malware debugging and would halt all activity if any is present swiftly. One of the most annoying features of the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA adware is that it can display advertisements that take up the whole screen, and the user is not able to close them. The user can not get rid of the AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA by restarting their device as the adware will be launched as soon as the device is switched back on.

Despite all the best efforts of the Google Play Store to keep their users safe from such pests, it is not always easy to filter out the shady actors. Sometimes, applications that contain adware would garner almost 10 million downloads before the Google Play Store takes notice and removes them. Android users need to get used to the thought that they need an anti-malware tool installed that would keep them safe from various Android malware and adware.


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