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Google Play apps bombard users with 'horrible, intrusive' ads and deplete their battery

Bitdefender says apps affected include a racing simulator, several QR code scanners and a weather app.


More than a dozen popular games, health trackers and other apps on the Google Play store are bombarding users with invasive and unwanted ads, new research has revealed.

Cyber security firm Bitdefender found 17 apps that employed various tactics to deliver nuisance ads, while giving the appearance of a legitimate app.

The apps, which have more than half a million combined downloads, include a racing simulator, several QR code scanners and a weather app.

Bitdefender stated that the the apps were "not malicious per se, however the tactics they use to smuggle themselves into Google Play and doge Google's vetting system are traditionally associated with malware."

Methods used to dodge Google Play checks include hiding their presence on a person's phone, as well as holding off from displaying ads for four hours after first being installed.

People who have already downloaded the apps reported their experience on the Google Play store, warning others to not install the apps to their devices.

Bitdefender researchers warned that one of the consequences of aggressive ads is that they cause increased battery drainage.


  • The Google Play apps found are not tagged as malware, but more as Riskware, therefore it is useful to always have a security solution installed on devices, as it can accurately identify these apps and prevent users from installing them.