android malware attacks
Malicious apps Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

Along with the technological revolution, the inventions which were supposed to help the world turned into a security threat. Android users came to know this week that their personal WhatsApp messages could be read without their consent, and now security experts have claimed that there are 15 apps on the Play Store that show over 1.3 million downloads, filled with harmful adware and capable of hiding themselves in smartphones as well as in tablets.

As per the experts, some of these malicious apps can also disguise themselves as harmless android software which is quite hard to detect.

An IT security company called Sophos debunked the malicious activities of these apps by sharing their names so that android users can check the download history to find out whether they have installed these apps or not.

This list of malicious apps includes:

• Flash On Calls & Messages

• Find Your Phone: Whistle

• Scavenger - - - speed guard

• Background Cut Out New

• Read QR Code

• Imagine Magic

• Generate Elves

• Savexpense

• QR Artifact

• Auto Cut Out Pro

• Background Cut Out

• Photo Background

• ImageProcessing

• Auto Cut Out

• Auto Cut Out 2019

In a news release, Sophos explained that Flash On Calls & Messages aka Free Calls & Messages uses some clever tactics to prevent users from uninstalling the app.

The researchers said that after the launch this app displays a message stating that "this app is incompatible with your device!"

As per the researchers, it was displayed to just make the users think that the app has crashed and "after this "crash," the app opens the Play Store and navigates to the page for Google Maps, to mislead you into thinking that the ubiquitous Maps app is the cause of the problem. It is not. This is a ruse."

"The app then hides its own icon so it doesn't show up in the launcher's app tray. Others in the list hide their icon, too: Some do this on the first launch, while others simply wait for a while after you install the app," the experts at Sophos further added.

Others apps, mentioned in the list, change their app icon picture to make the users believe that those are harmless software and essential apps.

Some of the scam apps in question can disguise themselves as seemingly harmless system apps
Some of these malicious apps can disguise themselves as seemingly harmless system apps Sophos

However, this is not the first time when the android users were fooled by malicious apps after downloading them from Google Play Store.

The Android vulnerability has become a big issue in recent years. Earlier reports revealed that some apps, installed from Google Play that includes Agent Smith and pre-installed malware, were also found in millions of Android phones.

Previously, researchers claimed that even though Google Play is considered one of the safest platforms, "unfortunately nothing is 100 percent safe."

"The problem is that even such a powerful company as Google can't thoroughly check millions of apps. Keep in mind that most of the apps are updated regularly, so Google Play moderators' jobs are never done."