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What is an info stealing ad library?

by Brian Cody

Researchers have recently discovered more than 800 apps on the Google Play store that contain an information-stealing ad library dubbed Xavier. Google has been notified and has already removed a number of the apps containing the malicious ad library from the Google Play Store.


What is an information-stealing ad library?

When it comes to free apps, there still may be a price, although it doesn’t always cost the user. There are other ways applications can earn revenue, such as running advertisements within the app itself. Ad libraries are a legitimate part of an application, however, they are software and can become compromised by cybercriminals in a myriad of different ways.

What does Xavier do?

This particular variant of the malicious ad library is what is known as a Trojan horse. This type of malware can collect sensitive user information such as email addresses, Device ID, device model, operating system version, country, device manufacturer, SIM card operator, screen resolution, and installed apps, all without the users’ knowledge.


How to stay protected from this type of threat?

Taking advantage of quality security software such as Norton Mobile Security, which protects users from this particular threat, is an important measure you can take.

With Norton Mobile Security, you can also use our app advisor for Android to scan for "bad apps" like ones that contain Xavier before downloading them to your phone. Norton App Advisor is a special feature included with Norton Mobile Security. It notifies you if there are specific privacy risks, intrusive behaviour of apps, excessive battery drainage and data plan usage.

This entry was posted on Tue Jun 20, 2017 filed under online safety , online security and online threats

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