Android Adware Hidden Behind the Facade of Gaming Icons



The SonicWall Capture Labs Threat research team has regularly monitored hidden adware on Android. These misleading apps show ads and collect user data to make money from advertisements. They trick users into clicking on ads, earning revenue through both displays and clicks.

Recently, numerous instances of adware have been disguising themselves as well-known gaming apps, regardless of whether they are free or paid. This tactic aims to deceive users specifically during the installation process.

Figure 1: App icons used by malware

Infection Cycle

The critical permissions used in these apps are mentioned below:


Figure 2: Icon of a genuine paid app used by malware

Once the user clicks on the app icon, it disappears from the app drawer. To view the installed app, information users need to go to “Settings -> App Option”.

Figure 3: Code to hide malicious app from the app drawer

It fetches the URL “hxxp://1downloadss0ftware[.]xyz/gogo/install” from the resource directory.

Figure 4: res directory info

The code below loads malicious URLs into a WebView and then continuously displays advertisements on the device.

Figure 5: URL loaded into WebView

The malicious app loads a URL to showcase various ads in the default browser. All these ads consistently line up in the same web browser.

Figure 6: Showing ads in the default browser

Figure 7: Lined-up ads

The “createScreenCaptureIntent” method is used to initiate the process of capturing the screen content of a device that is infected by the malware.

Figure 8: Screen capture

The code below is designed to respond to screen on and off events.

Figure 9: Checks Device Status

Using JSON, the malware collects device information

Figure 10: Collects device information


  • hxxp://1downloadss0ftware[.]xyz
  • hxxps://adsforapp1[.]com
  • hxxps://onetouch23[.]info

SonicWall Protections

SonicWall Capture Labs provides protection against this threat via the SonicWall Capture ATP w/RTDMI.

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)

  • 6f24a2614dbbb4bcfd0422101ec9dbd8f2cc566500562a5191b24adf6b1cf7e0
  • 9ad72da43509fc05156f8ac8e2c107080e881ab9ec9e9bd6b97db4040bca380f
  • b02f787e204b5c4430ea7589e2bd5640feb503db5158aa9681baa1d4e8e60335
  • e363450bbb579e4398461e3a6f647378bdacfc856280f6ad3db2a6f628b57fcb
  • ed57a701ed3a80e9532f530e6b9b6a79560d44061a0032464109a273bc34d482
  • 1976fb538d0b7c063cd13df009b3b7923d6080ff0cbbc12a869185c11b97ba46
  • f339ea055ce21dd38585af98e85b61dd988ca75a932f20e177f4ba3d6c54d6aa
  • b09250f248f08dcfc1e5521988ae6a28aa12fd8119e35746d4f17bd0b27376bc
  • d62be270b176efcb2928ac84afcff127c0c5b5c8f6f149dca26c06df6a535dc2
Security News
The SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research Team gathers, analyzes and vets cross-vector threat information from the SonicWall Capture Threat network, consisting of global devices and resources, including more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 200 countries and territories. The research team identifies, analyzes, and mitigates critical vulnerabilities and malware daily through in-depth research, which drives protection for all SonicWall customers. In addition to safeguarding networks globally, the research team supports the larger threat intelligence community by releasing weekly deep technical analyses of the most critical threats to small businesses, providing critical knowledge that defenders need to protect their networks.