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Cyber Bites

60k and counting – Adware delivering Apps for Android

Bitdefender researchers discovered over 60 thousand completely different samples (unique apps) carrying adware while testing a new version of their Bitdefender Mobile Security application.

The good news is that none of these apps were downloaded from the Google Play Store but loaded directly as the result of web searches, aka “Sideloaded”. The attackers are targeting risky online behavior.

The victims were searching for content like the following:

  • Game Cracks

  • Games with unlocked features

  • Free VPN

  • Fake videos

  • Free Netflix

  • YouTube/TikTok without ads


  1. If you want an app for your phone, get it from the App Store

  2. Looking for sketchy apps will likely lead to sketchy results


Adware - Software that displays unwanted advertisements on a computer or mobile device. Adware may also track a user's browsing habits and collect personal information for targeted advertising.

Sideload - The process of installing an application on a device from a source other than the official app store or distribution channel. This can be done by downloading the app directly from a website or transferring it from a computer to a mobile device using a cable.

Source: Bitdefender

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