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How to know if an installed Play Store application has a virus

If in the previous tutorial I explained how to detect if an APK application that you are going to install from outside the Play Store has a virus, in this other I would like to show you that if an application installed from Play Store or already installed has a virus inside. And you may wonder if there are applications in Play Store with viruses, and the truth is that there are usually no, Google analyzes all the applications that are uploaded to the store using standard security parameters that are very reliable.

In fact, if you want to publish your app in the Play Store, it must first be approved by Google and the process can be quite long. In case there is any suspicion that the application contains malware, it can not be uploaded to the Android application store. That said, nothing and nobody is infallible, and even Google sometimes makes mistakes. Normally these errors are detected not too long after, but by then your computer may have already been infected, so if you suspect that an application you have installed may contain viruses, it is best to extract it and analyze it with an antivirus online as Virustotal.

Extract the Android application and save it as APK

Maybe you do not know it or maybe you have not worried about it until now, but it is possible to extract the APK from a application already installed, in this way you can check if an application that you already have installed has a virus. This method is fantastic, not only to know if an application installed from the Play Store has a virus, but also to when you suspect that an application you have installed has a virus but you do not remember when you installed it, in this way you will leave doubts quickly. I want to remind you that one of the most used methods, for example the Police virus, is to install a fraudulent application on the phone that simulates a real application, in this way it goes unnoticed by the user, but with this method you can extract all the applications you have installed and test them one by one to rule out having a virus. So, without further ado, I told you that the first thing you should do is download the Apk Extractor application that works as a pearl for this task and from which after trying it thoroughly, I have no doubt that it works like a charm. Yes, it contains advertising that sometimes shows full screen, so click on it.

  • Open Apk Extractor and you’ll see that starts to analyze the applications you have installed and shows you a list with all of them, including the operating system’s own applications of the phone as you can see in this image.

  • Now you have to click on the application you want to try if you have a virus, in my case I’m going to try the AZ Screen Recorder application which is one of the last ones I’ve downloaded from the Play Store and therefore I have it less controlled.
  • You press on it and it will automatically be extracted extracted. The extraction time varies depending on the application, but for most apps that have a very low weight is almost instantaneous. Then use a browser to access the path where the application was downloaded, which by default is Internal Storage> ExtractedApks. This way you can check that it has been downloaded correctly.

application extracted apk

  • The next step is to access the browser (Chrome, Firefox or the one that brings your mobile by default) and analyze the application with Virustotal. The process already explained in the previous post, so I’m not going to stop too much in it, at the beginning of the post you have the link.

And as you can see, in this case this application is totally free of virus, since it has been analyzed in 60 different antivirus engines and in none of them malware of any kind has been detected.

Finally I leave a video tutorial explanatory: