Warning: Uninstall these Android Malicious Apps immediately

[German]Android users should check their devices for installed apps and see if there are 15 malicious apps are present. In case, uninstall these malicious apps immediately.


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Security researchers from Sophos found 15 Android apps from the Google Play Store hiding their icons from the launcher. They published the articles Icon-hiding Android adware returns to the Play Market on 8 October 2019. Forbes has taken up this theme and warns in this article of the 15 malicious Android apps from the Google Play Store.

Adware apps that hide themselves

App developers have been trying for years to integrate embedded ad code into their apps. Through the advertising revenue they try to finance or cover the development costs. There is nothing wrong with that. But some developers use this approach in a borderline or abusive way to provide apps that only display ads on mobile devices.

Sophos Labs recently discovered 15 apps in the Google Play Store that use such practices. The apps generate frequent, large, intrusive ads and hide their app icons in the launcher. This is to make it harder for users to find and remove the apps.

Fake App-Eintrag in Alle AppsFake App-Eintrag in Alle Apps
(Fake App entries in All Apps, Source: Sophos)

Some of these apps go one step further by hiding the icons in the Android Apps settings page. They may use different names and icons to display them (see screenshots above). Below are the icons of these apps.


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Android-Apps mit Adware
(Android Apps with Adware, Source: Sophos)

According to data from the Google Play Store, these apps affect more than 1.3 million devices worldwide through at least one app installation. Here is the list of affected app package names that should be removed from Android devices immediately.

Package Name Installs  Published
free.calls.messages 1,000,000+ Jan 2019
com.a.bluescanner 10,000+ May 2019
com.bb.image.editor 10,000+ May 2019
com.cc.image.editor 100,000+ June 2019
com.d.bluemagentascanner 10,000+ June 2019
com.doo.keeping 1,000+ May 2019
com.e.orangeredscanner 10,000+ July 2019
com.hz.audio 10,000+ June 2019
cos.mos.comprehensive 10,000+ April 2019
com.garbege.background.cutout 10,000+ July 2019
com.hanroom.cutbackground 50,000+ July 2019
com.jiajia.autocut.photo 100,000+ July 2019
com.jiakebull.picture.background 50,000+ July 2019
com.fruit.autocut.photo 10,000+ July 2019
com.huankuai.autocut.picture 10,000+ July 2019

The apps should be able to be detected and removed via the process names, even if they camouflage themselves. Google has already banned the apps from the Play Store. However, I assume that other apps with similar behavior will be offered in the Play Store.


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