Google removed 164 applications from the Play Store, which were downloaded by more than 10 million users

Google removed 164 Android apps from the Play Store after it was noticed that they were bombarding users with ads.

Out-of-context is a relatively new term for mobile ads that appear in a pop-up or full screen, separate from the original application.

This type of ad has been banned in the Play Store since February 2020, when Google said that these ads prevent users from discovering the application from which the ad originated, which paves the way for unwanted ads on Android devices.

However, although the ban on displaying such ads removed 600 Android applications from the Play Store for the first time, this did not mean that the application developers stopped abusing this mechanism.

In June and October 2020, Google was forced to intervene again and ban 38 and 240 applications, respectively, which continued to abuse this mechanism. Both groups of applications were discovered by White Ops, a company specializing in detecting bots and advertising scams.

This week, White Ops said it had recently unveiled another group of apps that also violate Google’s ban, noting that this group of apps went undetected for longer than the others, more precisely for more than two years.

Most of the 164 apps mimicked more popular apps, copying their functionality and names to entice users to download them.

Apps were downloaded more than 10 million times before they were discovered and reported to the Google security team.

The names of 164 Android applications can be found in White Ops report.

According to the rules of the Google Play store, applications are removed from the store and disabled on users’ devices, but users still have to manually remove them from their phones.

Source: by

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