Google Play Store has taken down one of its most popular apps Barcode Scanner. The app, which has over 10 million downloads, is no longer available on the play store as it has been found hosting malicious adware. The adware was first detected by Malwarebytes (a cybersecurity research firm) which revealed that some of the said users of the apps reported that while accessing their browser it automatically opens up a website promoting the installation of a cleaner app due to security lapses. The research firm was not able to trace out the website earlier due to huge traffic on the scanner app.
The latest update of the app led to the intrusion of Malware
The adware could be detected only after the Barcode Scanner’s latest update. As per the investigation by the cybersecurity firm, the latest update of the app managed to obtain the obfuscated code which eventually turned out to be a Trojan that was responsible for the adware. The firm stated that the Barcode Scanner app turned malicious after an update in the last year. The said update is supposed to have triggered the app to send adware. After this update, several users had to face problems while accessing the browser as it was automatically opening up a website promoting the installation of some cleaner app. Before its removal, the app was last attributed to the developer “Lavabird Ltd.”
Barcode Scanner app was a part of Google’s “Pass Programme Apps”
It may be noted that the Barcode Scanner app is a part of many apps forming the group of “Google Play Pass Program”. The pass program offers many benefits like ad-free access to premium apps. After the detection of adware in the Barcode Scanner app, Google has removed this app from the app store. This incident puts a major question on the security of the Google Play Store since even its pass apps are no longer secure from malware attacks. In case you have installed this scanner app, it is advisable to uninstall the same as quickly as possible to protect your phone from possible adware.