Popular barcode scanner for Android turned into adware after update

Popular barcode scanner for Android turned into adware after update


It took just one update to turn the popular barcode scanner app Barcode Scanner into intrusive malware. This product was distributed through the Play Store and has been downloaded over 10 million times in total.

The developer of the said application is Lavabird Ltd., which has successfully distributed its barcode scanner through the official Google digital content store for several years. For a long time, the app has been truly trustworthy, which is why it has been downloaded by millions of Android users since its launch.

The situation changed after another update was released for Barcode Scanner last December. After installing it, users noticed that their devices began to frequently display advertising content. Usually, this behavior of devices is associated with recently installed applications, but in this case, the problem turned out to be precisely in Barcode Scanner. It turned out that the developers had added malicious code to the update, which was carefully hidden, and the package itself was signed with the same digital certificate as previous versions of the application.

It should be noted that developers often include advertising SDKs in their products at the development stage. As a rule, the advertising SDK is present in the free version of the application, but in the paid version it is not, due to which users who bought the product are not shown ads. In the case of Barcode Scanner, the developers added malicious code that was not present in previous versions of the application, and also tried to hide it.

At this point, the Barcode Scanner app has already been removed from the Play Store. Users who have already installed this product are advised to stop using it and remove it from their device.

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