New update turns Barcode Scanner into malware, Google removes rogue app from Play Store

Barcode scanner app enjoyed 10 million downloads before leaving the play store. (Representative image, IE )

Google Play Store has removed the Barcode scanner app after users complained of suspicious ads and adware was detected. One Malwarebytes forum user traced this unethical behaviour of default browsers opening up junk ads and found that it was due to the Barcode scanner. The app enjoyed 10 million downloads before leaving the Play Store.

Google removed the app after it was informed about the issue. Barcode Scanner is also part of a Play Pass program with which paid subscribers can get access to premium apps for free.

Malwarebytes reported in its blog that users in its forum complained of unruly apps popping from any browser they were using automatically directing them to odd websites, asking them to install another “Cleaner app” with fishy security issues. Although it is no longer in the Play Store, it remains on phones that installed it. Barcode Scanner was part of the Google Play Pass programme earlier, meaning it was offered to its premium subscribers.

It is recommended for users to uninstall the Barcode Scanner app at the earliest. If you cannot find it on your phone use AppChecker app and see if your phone has that app preinstalled or not and then delete it. The result should have the package name “com.qrcodescanner.barcodescanner.”

Barcode Scanner was a simple app that turned malicious after an update was rolled out on December 4 last year, claimed Malwarebytes. It triggered the app to send adware on installed phones. LavaBird Ltd. Was the developer of the app before it was delisted from the Google PlayStore.

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