Millions warned over dangerous Android apps HIDING themselves on your phone

HACKERS have found a sneaky way to prevent millions of victims on Android from removing their virus-filled apps.

Experts have exposed a bunch of apps, mostly claiming to be smartphone cleaning tools, that are actually riddled with malware.

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Apps caught changing their icon and name to hideCredit: McAfee

Once installed, this malware lurks under the surface and will bombard your phone with adverts.

Worryingly, they can also run malicious services automatically, without needing the app to be opened in the first place.

The most obvious reaction any victim would have is to delete the app immediately.

But cyber criminals have come up with a different way to make things even harder.

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McAfee has noticed that these dubious apps will try to hide themselves by changing their appearance.

Instead they’ll appear on your phone as something important like the Google Play icon or as the Settings.

That way, they prevent users from noticing and deleting the apps.

Researchers claim that the apps in question have also been promoted on advertising pages via Facebook as well to lure even more people.

The malware – which uses something called the Contact Provider – is thought to have affected users in South Korea, Japan, and Brazil most, though cases have been detected in the UK and US too.

Junk Cleaner, Full Clean -Clean Cache, Quick Cleaner and Keep Clean are among the list of apps, which have each been downloaded more than one million times on the Google Play Store.

Though they’ve now been removed from the app store, anyone who had already downloaded them is still at risk until they’re fully uninstalled.

“This malware is auto-starting malware, so as soon as the users download it from Google Play, they are infected immediately,” McAfee warned.

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“And it is still constantly developing variants that are published by different developer accounts.

“Therefore, it is not easy for users to notice this type of malware.”

Some of the apps that contained the dodgy malware

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Some of the apps that contained the dodgy malwareCredit: McAfee

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