After CamScanner introduced intrusive, unskippable full-screen advertisements to its free PDF scanner back in April, it now finds itself in the middle of another controversy. This time, it might mean the end to its life on the Play Store altogether. Kaspersky security researchers found evidence of malware in multiple versions of the app, published between June and July this year. While our own tests conclude that the August versions are free of malware, Google still decided to pull the plug and banned the app that accumulated more than 100 million downloads from the Play Store altogether.
The security experts identified the malware in question as a Trojan Dropper, a software that’s sometimes found pre-installed on Chinese phones. It executes files from an encrypted part of an app’s APK, running malware that in turn downloads additional modules. In CamScanner’s case, these could display intrusive ads all around the phone and sign up users for paid subscriptions without their knowledge. According to the researches, some reviewers on the Play Store reported strange behavior after using the app and urged others not to install it.
We’ve identified the unsafe versions of CamScanner and purged them from our own APK hosting platform, APK Mirror. It looks like an update on June 16 first introduced malware into the app, with four subsequent releases ranging from June 24 to July 25 retaining it. A new version published on July 30 finally got rid of the malware, and the four releases following it haven’t introduced it again
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