Google has decided to remove multiple Android apps from Google Play which have been connected to the “Vulna” ad library which was recently determined to pose a risk to millions of downloads and has removed the accounts of several app developers, including Main Games Mobile, Itch Mania
Dubbed “Vulna” by researchers for its “vulnerable and aggressive” collection of sensitive data, the ad library could be leveraged to conduct attacks on potentially millions of users – a threat of such magnitude that the researchers have declined to identify the specific library by name.
“We have analyzed all Android apps with over one million downloads on Google Play, and we found that over 1.8% of these apps used Vulna. These affected apps have been downloaded more than 200 million times in total,” the researchers said previously, but the number is actually quite a bit higher.
“The total number of downloads of these apps was more than six million before the take-down. Sadly, while removing these apps from Google Play prevents more people from being infected, the millions of devices that already downloaded them remain vulnerable,” the researchers announced.
A number of apps have removed Vulna ad library altogether, while others have updated their ad libraries to the latest version of Vulna, which should mitigate many of the issues the researchers found, but millions of users are still at risk if they do not update their applications.
“The total number of downloads of these apps before they were updated was more than 26 million. Unfortunately, many users do not update their downloaded apps often, and hence millions of users of these apps will still be vulnerable until they update to the latest version of the apps,” the researchers said.
“From our current analysis, there are still many other apps using the vulnaggressive versions of the ad library Ad Vulna on Google Play, with more than 166 million downloads in total.”
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