ESET researchers have identified 42 apps from the Google Play Store that contain malicious adware that can impact your battery life and data, and even collect personal information.
Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher for ESET, said in a meantime, each of the 42 apps was removed from the Play Store. In addition to being a total of 8 million downloads, their availability continues to be available in some third-party app stores.
Stefanko named 21 of the apps in question and detailed the package names of the other 21 in a blog post.
The names are: Smart Gallery, SaveInsta, Mini Lite for Facebook, Free Radio FM Online, Free Video Downloader, Free Social Video Downloader, File Downloader, Drinking Water Reminder, Smart Notes for You, DU Recorder, Armored Classics, Heroes Jump, Solucionario , Ringtone Maker, Video Downloader, Ringtone Maker Pro, Basketball Perfect Shot, HikeTop +, MP4 Video Downloader, Flat Music Player, Free Top Video Downloader.
If you are worried about having any of the 21unspecified apps installed, you can use services like AppBrain that identify a program based on its package to check for any existing ones on your phone.
In short, each of the apps described by ESET should work as described in their listing, but should also contain adware.
According to Stefanko, some of the apps in question are able to know if they are being tested by security mechanisms or not. After the device has been unlocked, you should be able to view full-screen images on a user device.
It is disturbing that some of the programs in question can disguise themselves. In particular, it has been found that they are able to portray themselves as apps like Facebook or Google when a user tries to figure out what is responsible for the adware is responsible for running the ad. If you click the Recent Apps button, another trick will apply: the app will display a Facebook or Google icon.
Stay on the affected device for as long as possible.
ESET was able to identify the developer of the existing adware. Although not mentioned, they were also shown a presence in the Apple App Store.
This is not the first time we have heard of adware plaguing Android users. Earlier this month, another 15 apps were found in the Play Store, which also included such software.
Although the programs described above have all been removed from the Play Store, fans should check if any are still installed.  In this case, we recommend that you remove it from your device immediately.