Whenever we post “Delete these apps” stories, we always see comments saying that the malware applications in question are so bizarre and meaningless that you must be the craziest Android user on earth to download them first (or something like that effect).
According to a new report by VPNpro, Chinese company Shenzhen Hawk has introduced 24 different Sketch apps in the Google Play Store, which have received a total of 382 million downloads. While you may not be bored with installing one on your device, there are plenty. Not all of these applications come directly from Shenzhen Hawk; The company used various app developer names to blunt its intentions.
While not all of these applications are as naughty as the others, many of them ask for specific permissions, which is more than is required for the application. For example, the antivirus scanner app may have asked you to access your Android camera — we did not expect it to need to scan only the files on your mobile phone.
Here are all the crappy apps you should delete
It may take a minute or more to check your mobile and confirm that you do not have the fraudulent apps provided by Shenzhen HAWK or the various apps developer names it uses. Google has also removed 24 suspicious apps from the Google Play Store, but you must manually uninstall them. They will not disappear from your device.
The apps, ranked in order of downloads, are:
- Sound Recorder (100M)
- Super Cleaner (100M)
- Virus Cleaner 2019 (100M)
- File Manager (50M)
- Joy Launcher (10M)
- Turbo Browser (10M)
- Weather Forecast (10M)
- Candy Selfie Camera (10M)
- Hi VPN, Free VPN (10M)
- Candy Gallery (10M)
- Calendar Lite (5M)
- Super Battery (5M)
- Hi Security 2019 (5M)
- Net Master (5M)
- Puzzle Box (1M)
- Private Browser (500,000)
- Hi VPN Pro (500,000)
- World Zoo (100,000)
- Word Crossy! (100,000)
- Soccer Pinball (10,000)
- Dig it (10,000)
- Laser Break (10,000)
- Music Roam (1,000)
- Word Crush (50)
If any of these look like something you have on your device, you can also check to see whether the developer is one of the following:
- Tap Sky
- ViewYeah Studio
- Hawk App
- Hi Security
- Alcatel Innovation Lab
- Shenzen Hawk
If so, you should delete the offending apps. Don’t dawdle.
But it’s more than just deleting scammy Android apps
Even if you are smart and do not like any of those bad apps, this whole deal is a great reminder of what an app really wants and what it needs whenever it asks for permissions.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to guide you on this, and you may not realize that an application requires a high-risk permit to operate (such as your location or access to your camera). But if the antivirus application needs permission to record audio from your device or Solitaire game needs access to your location and calendar, see if you can use that application without any problems. (I will remove it and find another app, but it’s me.)
Since we are in the title, do not forget about the application permissions section of Android 10, which can be used to see which applications you have given access to different parts of your mobile. In my pixel, I can access this by tapping Settings Application, Privacy and Permission Manager. Once there, you’ll see the various permissions you have granted (sorted by type), as well as allowing multiple applications to access features such as your contacts, text messages, and microphone.
To change the permissions of the application, to switch between “Permission” and “Refuse”, tap one of these categories.
As mentioned, I think it would be a good idea to know about the apps you are installing on your Android as it is difficult to say whether the app’s permission requests are for legitimate use or not. That’s not to say you should always stick to the “top” charts in the Google Play Store – just because the number of downloads the app receives does not affect whether or not it tries to throw malware on your device. This does not mean that you can blindly trust anything in the Google Play Store. Google tries to weed out bad actors if possible, but it’s not perfect.
Instead, think about whether the new app or game you are capturing really makes sense to you. To find out what they have to say about the app experience, read some reviews from the Play Store and reputable third parties. Sounds like a quick sandal? Is this a feature you can find from the best, notable app developers? Does it reflect what is already on your mobile? Have you heard of the developer before, and do their remaining applications seem legitimate or very carbon-duplicated?
The best way to stay safe in any App Store is to use some general knowledge. You do not need every app you stumble upon, and random applications should not be allowed to get all the system permissions they ask for unless the requests seem legitimate. Take some time to trim the unused apps from your smartphone so you can be sure that they will not cause any problem if they are fraudulent.