Nov 19th, 2019

Popup ads on websites can be annoying, especially on mobile, and as a result there is a rise in apps and browser extensions designed to block them. Now, before you rush off and install the latest ad blocker on your Android smartphone, you might want to pay attention because according to security researchers, there is a new malware making its round where it is disguising itself as an ad blocker.

Dubbed FakeAdsBlock, it seems that this piece of malware has already infected as many as 500 devices, according to Malwarebytes who initially discovered it. 500 devices is a drop in the ocean when you think about the number of active Android devices out there, but we suppose it’s still good to nip this in the bud early.

What’s ironic about this malware is that while it claims to block ads, it actually does the opposite. Instead, when it is installed on the phones of users, it will actually spam them with ads. The app will request for permission to display content over other apps, which should already raise some red flags. It will also request for permission to install a VPN connection, which apparently allows the malware to run in the background at all times.

Malwarebytes also notes that this malware is particularly hard to locate once it has been installed, due to the fact that it does not have an icon, making it a bit more tricky than usual to uninstall. However, it can still be removed by going to the apps section in your Settings and remove it where it is listed without an icon and without a name.

Source: ZDNet

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