Cybersecurity firm Avast has discovered 21 gaming apps on Google’s Play Store that contain adware.

Avast, earlier this week had said that it had reported these 21 apps to Google.

The apps contain adware which is part of the HiddenAds family.

“The HiddenAds family is a Trojan disguised as a safe and useful application but instead serves intrusive ads outside of the app,” Avast explained in an official press release.

The apps disguised as sports, puzzle, car and helicopter gaming apps were meant to display intrusive ads.

“Numerous user reviews on the Google Play Store mention the apps grabbed their attention through advertisements on YouTube, promising a different game than what the app ultimately offered. Following the download, advertisements started flooding their phones,” Avast said.

The apps had been downloaded about eight million times when Avast made the discovery, it said citing data from Sensor Tower.

“Developers of adware are increasingly using social media channels, like regular marketers would. This time, users reported they were targeted with ads promoting the games on YouTube.The popularity of these social networks make them an attractive advertising platform, also for cybercriminals, to target a younger audience,” said Jakub Vávra, Threat Analyst at Avast.

“While Google is doing everything possible to prevent HiddenAds from entering its Play Store, the malicious apps keep finding new ways to disguise their true purpose, thus slipping through to the platform and then to users’ phones. Users need to be vigilant when downloading applications to their phones and are advised to check the applications’ profile, reviews and to be mindful of extensive device permission requests,” Vávra said.

Here’s a list of the apps as provided by Avast:

Shoot Them

Crush Car

Rolling Scroll

Helicopter Attack - NEW

Assassin Legend - 2020 NEW

Helicopter Shoot

Rugby Pass

Flying Skateboard

Iron it

Shooting Run

Plant Monster

Find Hidden

Find 5 Differences - 2020 NEW

Rotate Shape

Jump Jump

Find the Differences - Puzzle Game

Sway Man

Desert Against

Money Destroyer

Cream Trip - NEW

Props Rescue