According to the latest report, Google has taken down a total of 38 Android apps from its Play Store, which had reportedly gained massive popularity among users. The tech giant has advised all Android users to urgently check their devices and remove these apps immediately. Google has a reputation of removing apps that do not adhere to its strict guidelines. But, what makes this latest warning more concerning is the alarming number of downloads (35 Millions) that these malicious apps had received before being removed from the Google Play Store.
In a recent finding by McAfee’s Mobile Research Team, it has been revealed that over 35 million users across the globe have downloaded 38 malicious Android apps. These apps, have been disguised as free alternatives to the popular game Minecraft and have been identified to provide similar gaming experiences.
Minecraft, the renowned sandbox computer game, has garnered a huge fan following with over 140 million monthly active players. However, the popularity of this game has also given rise to a new breed of fraudulent apps, masquerading as Minecraft. These apps have been identified to be stealthily loading adware in the background.
These copycats of the original game have been downloaded by unsuspecting users, leading to potential risks to the privacy and security of their devices.
List of Fraudulent Apps
1. Block Box Master Diamond with 10M+ Downloads.
2. Craft Sword Mini Fun with 5M+ Downloads
3. Block Box Skyland Sword with 5M+ Downloads
4. Craft Monster Crazy with 5M+ Downloads
5. Block Pro Forrest Diamond with 1M+ Downloads
6. BlockGame Skyland Forrest with 1M+ Downloads
7. Block Rainbow Sword Dragon with 1M+ Downloads
8. Craft Rainbow Mini Builder with 1M+ Downloads
9. Block Forrest Tree Crazy with 1M+ Downloads
10. Craft Clever Monster Castle with 500K+ Downloads
11. Block Monster Diamond Dragon with 500K+ Downloads
12. Craft World Fun Robo with 500K+ Downloads
13. Block Pixelart Tree Pro with 500K+ Downloads
14. Craft Mini Lucky Fun with 500K+ Downloads
15. Block Earth Skyland World with 500K+ Downloads
16. Block Rainbow Monster Castle with 500K+ Downloads
17. Block Fun Rainbow Builder with 500K+ Downloads
18. Craft Dragon Diamond Robo with 500K+ Downloads
19. Block World Tree Monster with 100K+ Downloads
20. Block Diamond Boy Pro with 100K+ Downloads
21. Block Lucky Master Earth with 100K+ Downloads
22. Craft Forrest Mini Fun with 100K+ Downloads
23. Craft Sword City Pro with 100K+ Downloads
24. Block Loki Monster Builder with 100K+ Downloads
25. Block Boy Earth Mini with 100K+ Downloads
26. Block Crazy Builder City with 100K+ Downloads
27. Craft Sword Vip Pixelart with 100K+ Downloads
28. Block City Fun Diamond with 100K+ Downloads
29. Craft City Loki Rainbow with 100K+ Downloads
30. Craft Boy Clever Sun with 100K+ Downloads
31. Block City Dragon Sun with 100K+ Downloads
32. Craft Loki Forrest Monster with 50K+ Downloads
33. Lokicraft: Forrest Survival 3D with 50K+ Downloads
34. Craft Castle Sun Rain with 50K+ Downloads
35. Craft Game Earth World with 50K+ Downloads
36. Craft Lucky Castle Builder with 50K+ Downloads
37. Craftsman: Building City 2022 with 50K+ Downloads
38. Craft Rainbow Pro Rain with 50K+ Downloads
How Do These Apps Work?
Following the launch of the fraudulent Minecraft-like apps, users can play the game without any apparent problems in the block-based world.
However, users soon realize that the apps are loaded with adware, as they start receiving advertisement and promotional pop-ups from various domains relentlessly. Notably, these ads do not appear on the game screen, making it difficult for users to detect the hidden adware. This threat has been identified in several countries worldwide, with the most significant impact being observed in the United States, Canada, South Korea, and Brazil.
Stay Safe And Proactive
It’s vital for users to remain vigilant and safeguard their devices from such potential threats. According to McAfee, malicious actors are using games as a shield to lure unsuspecting young people who are more likely to trust such games. By disguising malware as games, cybercriminals aim to exploit the trust of users and gain access to their devices, putting their privacy and security at risk.
Remember to regularly update your devices, use strong passwords, avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown apps. Additionally, do not hesitate to seek expert guidance when in doubt.