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Full Screen Ads and search redirections

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I'm looking for help - and you seem to be the right bunch of people who might help me, hopefuly!

I've got fairly modern mobile Samsung Galaxy S9, I don't install too many apps but rather stick to what I use + some games downloads from google play each month that I never have time to play.

And now, for the last week or so I started getting full screen pop-ups (google & tapjoy), the type of what you would get in games, often with 5sec timer in a corner, however I started getting them even when I don't have any app started! I scanned mobile with Kaspersky, Symantec, Malwarebytes and Samsung protection integrated Mcaffee and all came back clean!

I even restarted my mobile and the only and first thing I opened up was your Malwarebytes app to have it scanned again at clean boot - but the pop up came up again! On the task-switcher it always has an icon of active app so I cannot tell what is the root app that triggers it, i.e. in this case it had Malwarebytesapp icon....

On the top of that, in Chrome every now and again when I just try to search with google, it gets redirected to cse.google.com/cse?cs=... which I think started happening around same time.

I'm super annoyed, being paranoid I will ultimately reinstall Android from scratch as I can't trust my phone any longer and I do banking with it (amongst other things) but before I do that I would be very interested to hunt down the guilty app and at least have it detected which might help other users too and prevent those $%^! from installing again

Your help will be much appreciated


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  • Staff

Hi @moto,

Sounds like perhaps one of your apps suddenly got more aggressive with ads.  Perhaps after an update?  If you could send me an Apps Report, I can see if I can track it down for you.

To send an Apps Report with Malwarebytes for Android use the following instructions.

1.Open the Malwarebytes for Android app.

2.Tap the Menu icon.

3. Tap Your apps.

4. Tap three lines icon in upper right corner.

5. Tap Send to support

Choose an email app to send Apps Report.

Your email app will open with the Apps Report included.

At this point, it would be very helpful to mention you are submitting via recommendation from the Malwareybtes forum.  This allows our support staff to know where to direct it.

By sending the Apps Report, you will create a ticket in our support system.

Private Message (PM) me the email used and/or the ticket number assigned.


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For benefit of the others. I've logged a ticket and have sent the report to Malwarebytes, unfortunately I've been told that without them having physical access to the device I'm on my own.

I've been given link to some recommendations which I found quite helpful https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/android-app-displaying-popup-adverts/

I thought I would give in and just reinstall the system but eventually decided to at least give it a try and hunt down the app which was triggering Ads.

First of all I stopped all application updates - which I should've done as soon as I noticed Ads, so continuous automatic updates of all my apps every day won't make investigation harder.

Then I used 3rd party software to sort all my apps by installation/update time, and starting from the latest I started removing all that were not Google/Facebook/one of the big brands, taking screenshots before removal so I knew what I was changing. After a few uninstallations I was restarting mobile and was testing if Ads were still there. So a couple of restarts later I approached close to the date I remembered Ads showed up and noticed Wallpaper application that I vaguely remember installing. I checked on Google Play for reviews and pretty much straight away it became obvious that it was the bad one as others were experiencing exactly the same issue. I've removed and restarted my mobile and so far 24h later all previous issues are gone including my google search redirections so I think it was also part of the package

For anyone interested, this is what caused me so much trouble

DON'T INSTALL IT - MALWARE: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wallpaper.flashlight.compass&hl=en_GB

I sent the link over to Nathan from Malwarebytes, hopefully it will be included in their database and detected with the next scan.

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  • 1 month later...

Moto thank you very much,

After reading your comment I remembered also of a wallpaper app that I had installed. I couldn't find the app on my phone but was having same issues you were. Then my phone popped up msg saying app was had redirected browser 11 times today. It showed me the app I was looking, deleted it and now everything is fine again.

Sneaky ba****ds, wasn't detected in 3 virus and malware apps. And a search of the app showed no results either.

This app causing my grief called "Fashion Wallpaper" 

Thank you again

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