A new Android malware dubbed Andr/HiddnAd-AJ found in Six QR Code scanning apps and with one smart compass app.

Malicious Android apps continue to evolve rapidly and these apps are uploaded to play store by bypassing the Google play protect vetting process.

The malicious apps representing itself as a bunch of handy tools was downloaded for more than 500,000 times from Google play store.

SophosLabs spotted the malware that infiltrated into Google play store, with this rogue apps threat actors blast website ads and clickable links to generate ad revenue.


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After installation of these rogue apps threat actors won’t fire up ads immediately. The adware engine was hidden inside the app as like a regular android program.

By adding an innocent-looking “graphics” subcomponent to a collection of programming routines that you’d expect to find in a regular Android program, the adware engine inside the app is effectively hiding in plain sight.

Attackers primary goal is to generate ad revenue with these rogue apps. They appear to be innocent at first and later it popups advertising web pages and also send the notification with clickable links.

Android Malware in QR Code apps

With its unexceptionable behavior, they use to remain innocent for first six hours and later starts to flood ads, web pages, and clickable links even if the app windows were closed.

Threat actors engage the malicious apps remotely “changing both its ad campaigns and its aggressiveness easily, without needing to update the malware code itself” says Sophos security Researcher Paul Ducklin.

Threat actors continue to make into google play store with a number of obfuscation methods, but still, it is the ideal place to download the apps.

Because third-party markets are open to everyone and there is one validation process.

If you are having any of the infected app’s installed on your Android device it’s time to remove and it is recommended to stop downloading unnecessary apps.

Common tips to Catch Fake Android App

  • Look at the publish date.A fake app will have a recent published date.
  • Do a little research about the developer of the app you plan to install.
  • Very important – read all app permissions carefully.

Common Defences On Mobile Threats

  • Give careful consideration to the permission asked for by applications.
  • Download applications from trusted sources.
  • Stay up with the latest version.
  • Encrypt your devices.


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