Shady reward apps on Google Play amass 20 million downloads


A new category of activity monitoring applications has been having large success recently on Google Play, Android’s official app retailer, having been downloaded on over 20 million gadgets.

The functions promote themselves as health, pedometer, and good habit-building apps, promising to provide customers random rewards for staying lively of their every day lives, reaching distance targets, and so on.

According to a report by the Dr. Web antivirus, although, the rewards could also be unimaginable to money out or are solely made available partially after forcing customers to observe a lot of commercials.

Three notable examples listed in Dr. Web’s report are:

  • Lucky Step – Walking Tracker – 10 million downloads
  • WalkingJoy – 5 million downloads
  • Lucky Habit: well being tracker – 5 million downloads
Shady pedometer apps on Google PlayShady pedometer apps on Google Play (BleepingComputer)

Dr. Web says all three apps talk with the same distant server tackle, indicating a typical operator/developer. At the time of writing, all three remain out there on Google Play.

The antivirus firm says the apps don’t allow withdrawals earlier than users have amassed a significant quantity of rewards. Even then, they promise to unlock “earnings” after customers sit and watch a dozen advertisement movies.

Even after watching a spherical of ads, the apps push even more ads allegedly to “velocity up” the withdrawal course of. 

In addition to those signs, Dr. Web stories that an earlier version of ‘Lucky Step – Walking Tracker’ offered the option to convert in-app rewards to present playing cards that users may use for purchasing items in actual online shops.

In latest versions of the app, nonetheless, this performance has been removed from the options, so it’s not clear what the rewards may be converted to anymore.

Some customers on Google Play left evaluations stating that ‘Lucky Step – Waling Tracker’ acts as adware, loading full-screen ads upon screen unlock, even overriding energetic windows.

User comments about Lucky Step on Google PlayUser comments about Lucky Step on Google Play (BleepingComputer)

Another instance of a similar app that is still out there on Google Play is ‘Wonder Time,’ a rewards app that has amassed 500,000 downloads.

The app guarantees to reward actual money for completing numerous tasks like installing extra functions and games.

However, the tokens customers receive for each motion are minuscule in comparability with the minimal earnings withdrawal threshold set by the developer.

Wondertime app on Google PlayWondertime app on Google Play (BleepingComputer)

Phishing games

In the identical report, Dr. Web warned that phishing apps disguised as funding apps and games have been found on Google Play, measuring over 450,000 downloads.

The apps connect to a distant server upon launch and receive a configuration instructing them on what to do. Typically, the directions contain loading phishing pages that request users to enter sensitive details.

The malicious recreation apps noticed by Dr. Web are the next:

  • Golden Hunt – 100,000 downloads
  • Reflector – 100,000 downloads
  • Seven Golden Wolf blackjack – 100,000 downloads (still on Google Play)
  • Unlimited Score – 50,000 downloads
  • Big Decisions – 50,000 downloads
  • Jewel Sea – 10,000 downloads
  • Lux Fruits Game – 10,000 downloads
  • Lucky Clover – 10,000 downloads
  • King Blitz – 5,000 downloads
  • Lucky Hammer – 1,000 downloads
One of the malicious games still on Google PlayOne of the malicious games nonetheless on Google Play (BleepingComputer)

If you have any of the above phishing apps installed in your Android gadget, you must uninstall them instantly and then run an AV scan to locate and take away any remnants.

BleepingComputer has contacted Google to ask in regards to the safety of the purposes that are nonetheless on the Play Store, and we are going to replace this post as quickly as we obtain a response.


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