Developers of mobile applications often depend on advertisements to generate revenue. Many mobile applications offer users to pay a small sum, which will provide them with an add-free version of the application. This is a legitimate method of monetization used by countless developers. However, there are shady application creators out there who use various dodgy tricks to generate revenue. Among them are the creators of adware.
Malware analysts have been researching mobile adware for a while now, and they have found that one of the most popular Android malware families of this type is called HiddenAds. Adware from the HiddenAds family often is disguised as legitimate applications, popular mobile games, etc. This means that the users would install the HiddenAds adware on their mobile devices, thinking they are obtaining a genuine application or game. Among the most popular fake applications that are propagating HiddenAds adware are:
- A bogus variant of the Call of Duty video game that is presented as a newly developed variant that is crafted for Android devices specifically.
- A fraudulent copy of the FaceApp application that has gained traction as it provides users with various fun filters that can be applied to their selfies.
These are the two most popular applications spreading the HiddenAds adware, but it is known that it also is being propagated via approximately 30,000 other bogus applications. Users who have installed the applications in question report that they are told ‘Application is unavailable in your country’ as soon as they try to launch the application. Then, the fake application offers the user to click ‘OK’ to uninstall it from their device. However, clicking ‘OK’ will not uninstall the bogus application from your device. Instead, the HiddenAds adware will remove its icon but continue running on the compromised device. The HiddenAds adware will begin to inject advertisements while the user is utilizing their device. It is likely that the HiddenAds adware is promoting dodgy content like dubious gambling platforms, adult entertainment, fake raffles, etc. It is best to avoid engaging with the advertisements linked to the activity of the HiddenAds adware.
If you are being spammed with advertisements by the HiddenAds adware, make sure you install a reputable anti-malware application compatible with your Android device. Use the anti-virus tool to locate and remove the HiddenAds adware.