Wandera, a security firm, states that it has found adware in two different apps on Google play.
According the company the adware was spotted by the threat research team. Both apps that contain the adware also function similarly and offer similar features. Though, they are from different developers.
One key thing that users should know is that the apps were downloaded and installed on devices running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This could mean that neither app would behave the same on a device with newer software.
Adware has been found in Google Play apps before
While it might feel unsettling to think about apps having adware, it's important to remember something. Apps with this issue have been found on Google Play before and this probably won't be the last time.
That being said, Google as well as other companies do a decent job of discovering these kinds of apps, which leads to appropriate action being taken. Case in point, these two apps in question. According to Wandera, the two apps found to have adware are called Sun Pro Beauty Camera and Fun Sweet Beauty Selfie Camera.
Each app has over 500k installs
Finding apps with adware shouldn't be a surprise. The more surprising detail should be the amount of people using them. Both apps, which are selfie camera apps, have at least 500,000 installs.
Sun Pro Beauty Camera has over a million, while Fun Sweet Beauty Selfie Camera has over 500,000. In addition to having a fairly sizable amount of installs, both apps behaved in much the same way after installation and first-time use.
Wandera notes that the apps would appear in the app drawer initially. However, once the apps were opened for the first time they both removed themselves from the app drawer. This was also only after creating a shortcut to launch the app from the homescreen.
More concerning was that the apps would still run in the background even if users removed the shortcut from the homescreen.
Both apps have been reported and removed
Both apps have already reported to Google by Wandera more than ten days ago. Google has also removed both applications from the Play Store. So there's no chance that they will gather more installs.
That being said, if you search for Sun Pro Beauty Camera in the Play Store, there is another one that pops up, though it isn't from the same developer, and the permissions are different.
In fact it doesn't have any of the concerning permissions that were mentioned by Wandera, which are the ability to record audio without user confirmation, install a shortcut, and tricking the system alert window so users click on stuff.
If you have either of these apps installed, it's strongly recommended that you remove them promptly.