Activity tracking apps surpass more than 20 million downloads on the Google Play Store

Posted on January 30, 2023 at 3:41 PM

Activity tracking apps surpass more than 20 million downloads on the Google Play Store

Many activity tracking applications targeting unsuspecting users have swarmed the Google Play Store. These apps have seen notable success on the official app store for Android devices, given that it has amassed more than 20 million downloads.

Activity tracking apps surpass 20 million downloads on Google Play Store

The activity tracking applications promoted on Google Play Store mimic other apps, such as those providing health, fitness, and pedometer services. These apps lure users into downloading and using them by giving them numerous rewards when they meet their fitness goals and become physically active.

A recent report by the Dr. Web antivirus noted that while these apps were promising users rewards, these rewards could become impossible for the users to cash out. Moreover, users could only access these rewards after watching a wide range of advertisements.

Dr. Web’s report has mentioned an example of the three applications that have received many downloads on the Google Play Store. The Lucky Step – Walking Tracker is one of the apps, with 10 million downloads. Other examples are WalkingJoy and Lucky Habit: Health tracker, which have 5 million downloads each.

The Dr. Web report has also said that the three applications communicated using a similar remote server address. This showed that the three apps were under the same operator or developer. The three apps remain on the Google Play Store despite having many negative reviews from users.

The report noted that the three applications did not allow the users to withdraw before they had garnered significant rewards. However, even when a user’s rewards were notably high, the platform required the users to unlock these rewards after viewing multiple advertisements and videos.

It appears that the developers were pushing for the users to watch more advertisements, given that even after the users watched the first dozen ads, the app prompted them to watch even more to speed up the process of withdrawing these rewards.

The Dr. Web report also analyzed one of the first versions of the “Lucky Step – Walking Tracker.” This app gave users the option of changing their rewards into gift cards. The users could later use the gift cards to buy goods from ecommerce platforms. However, the app has since been updated, with the recent version removing this functionality. It remains unclear what type of rewards the users get in real life after accumulating them in the app.

The Lucky Step – Walking Tracker has received several negative reviews from the Google Play Store. Some users have given feedback that the app appears to be adware that provides full-screen advertisements when the user unlocks their screen. The app also can override active windows.

Other applications on the Google Play Store offer similar functions. One of these apps is “Wonder Time.” The app also provides user rewards, and it has so far garnered 500,000 downloads. This app also promises users rewards in real money after they complete tasks such as installing other games and applications.

However, the users can barely garner enough rewards to withdraw from the platform. The rewards the users receive for the actions they complete on the application are significantly small, and the developer has a minimum earnings withdrawal that is challenging to attain.

Google Play Store plagued by phishing games

The Dr. Web report also addressed the rise of phishing campaigns on the Google Play Store. The report noted that phishing apps on the Android app marketplace were disguised as games and investment applications. These apps garnered more than 450,000 downloads.

These apps are linked to a remote server after they are launched. They also get a configuration with instructions on what needs to be done. These instructions require loading phishing links where users are requested to share their sensitive information.

Some phishing apps highlighted in the Dr. Web report include Golden Hunt, Reflector and Seven Golden Wolf blackjack, which have 100,000 downloads each. The others include Unlimited Score and Big Decisions, with 50,000 downloads each. Jewel Sea, Lux Fruits Game, and Lucky Clover have 10,000 downloads each, while King Blitz has 5000 downloads each.

Android users that have downloaded any of these phishing apps on their devices are being urged to uninstall them. It is also prudent that the users conduct an antivirus scan to detect and eliminate the remaining installation packages. 

Activity tracking apps surpass more than 20 million downloads on the Google Play Store
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Activity tracking apps surpass more than 20 million downloads on the Google Play Store
Google Play Store has more than 20 million downloads for malicious activity tracking applications. These applications promise rewards to users. However, users have complained of failing to redeem their rewards despite watching numerous advertisements.
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