• Home
  • Apps
  • Apps News
  • Barcode Scanner Play Pass App Turns Malicious After Recent Update, Removed From Play Store

Barcode Scanner Play Pass App Turns Malicious After Recent Update, Removed From Play Store

Barcode Scanner had over 10 million installs on Google Play store before being removed.

Barcode Scanner Play Pass App Turns Malicious After Recent Update, Removed From Play Store

Photo Credit: Malwarebytes

Barcode Scanner reported turned malicious after an update in December last year

  • Users were getting browser ads automatically without consent
  • Barcode Scanner has been listed on Play store for years
  • It is reported to have been a part of the Google Play Pass program

Barcode Scanner, an app available on Google Play store for many years, has been removed from the app store after adware was detected. Malwarebytes says that users started to report of unruly ads opening via their default browser out of nowhere, and one forum users traced this unethical behaviour to Barcode Scanner, which enjoyed 10 million installs before being removed. Google delisted the app after it was made aware of this issue. Interestingly, Barcode Scanner was reportedly also a part of the tech-giant's Play Pass program that offers paid subscribers perks like access to premium apps for free.

Malwarebytes, on its blog, reports that the users on its forums were reporting of a strange behaviour wherein the default browser on their phone was automatically opening a fishy-looking website asking them to install another ‘Cleaner app' claiming bogus security issues. This unruly pop-up on their phone's screen prompted users to report it and ultimately the culprit was traced to be Barcode Scanner. Google has since delisted the app, but it still remains installed on phones that downloaded it earlier. Android Police reports that Barcode Scanner was a part of the Google Play Pass programme earlier, meaning it was offered as a perk to premium subscribers.

For those who have this Barcode Scanner app on their phone, it is recommended that you uninstall it immediately. If you can't see the app, but are experiencing the unruly browser issue, then download AppChecker and search for ‘barcode scanner' to see if your phone has the app and then delete it. The result should have the package name "com.qrcodescanner.barcodescanner."

The security firm says that Barcode Scanner was a simple app that later turned malicious, presumably after an update late last year. Specifically, an update rolled out on December 4 last year seems to have triggered the app to send adware on installed phones. Before that, the app was installed on handsets for years without any issue. The developer of the app at the time of removal was LavaBird Ltd.

What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 Specifications, Model Numbers Leak
Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News


Follow Us


© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2023. All rights reserved.