New BeiTaAd adware found in 238 apps available on the official Google Play Store.
Over the past year, roughly 440 million Android users have downloaded apps from the official Google Play Store that contained an advertising library that showed aggressive, out-of-app ads.
This advertising library, called the BeiTaPlugin, was found embedded in 238 applications, Kristina Balaam, Security Intelligence Engineer at Lookout said in a report published today.
Balaam said Lookout notified Google of the library's intrusive behavior, and Google notified all the affected apps' developers, in turn.
"As of May 23rd, 2019, the 230+ affected applications on Google Play have either been removed or updated to versions without the BeiTa Plugin," Balaam said.
How the BeiTaAd adware worked
Over the past few months, the official Google Play Store has faced a rash of adware infestations [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The BeiTaPlugin is just the latest software developer kit (SDK) in a long line of advertising libraries that have been caught misbehaving inside legitimate apps.
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Balaam's report on the BeiTaAd adware includes the full list of 238 applications that once used to contain the BeiTaPlugin code. Users can check this list to see if they've installed any of these apps in the past, and update them to newer versions that do not include the BeiTaPlugin code, or remove the appps from their devices.