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Starting in the last week, something is putting icons on my desktop. I've not installed anything new on this phone (Android 4.2.2) in at least 2-3 weeks (and anything that was installed has been deleted). So far on the desktop I have icons for:

  • Game Of War x2
  • Brave Frontier x 3
  • GettingApps
  • EZ PZ RPG
  • DomiNations
  • Slotomania
  • Heroes Charg

None of those appear as installed apps in the "Installed" tab of "My Apps" part of Play store. In fact, every single app I have installed is by "Google Inc." (with a little blue icon next to it, which I'm guessing means it is trusted?).

Clicking any of these icons does nothing - ah, no, a click on the "Getting Apps" one brings up a dialog saying "Install Blocked: for security your phone is set to block installation of apps obtained from unknown sources".

I've tried a reboot, in case it was just a virus in memory, but it has survived that.

When I answer a call, then go to hang up, there is an ad on screen, which I then have to close. (This part is also new, just the past few days, so definitely related.)

Note: there is nothing appearing in the notification bar. The closest I've found to a duplicate question is this: Google Play is putting adds up when I'm doing anything on my phone. text, games, gallery etc (from Apr 23rd this year).

UPDATE: For the moment I've cleared away all the icons from the desktop, and done another reboot, so it is clear again as I type this. (I did the same thing earlier in the week, but only removed a couple of them at that time to see what would happen.) I just tried calling the phone, and there was no dialog popup, nor new app, this time. So, perhaps the icons were able to keep breeding as long as one remained, and getting rid of all of them was key? I'll keep an eye on it and report back.

UPDATE #2: It did come back. Each of those pop-ups seems to create a desktop icon even though I click the close button in the top-right. I should've said I had already tried AirPush Detector, and it found nothing. Just trying CMSecurity, as suggested by Mason's answer. It has found 7 "danger" problems: (Er, I only count 6 - not sure what the 7th was!)

  • 3 apps with privacy issues: Messaging, YouTube, Email.
  • BroadAnywhere system vulnerability
  • FakeID Exploit system vulnerability
  • SMS Phishing vulnerability

(It also found 8 search history entries, 107 browser privacy issues, 156MB junk; I let it deal with all them, too. It did not say it was required, but I also did a reboot.)

So, again, I'll report back if the problem comes back!

UPDATE #3: Problem still happening. CM Security tells me everything is virus-free. I have nothing to try uninstalling - everything there is one of the built-in Google apps (except CM Security). (The best I can do is "uninstall updates to this app", and I'm thinking that might do more harm than good?) I'm going to try watching the "running apps" screen for a while, to see if anything changes before/after a new desktop icon appears.

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Seems like someone had the exact same issue but posted it on the Android Forums, not here. :(

Things to try:

  1. Install one or several of Airpush Detector, Avast! Mobile Security, AVG antivirus, or/and Addons detector.
  2. Install CM Security to prevent things from slipping by unnoticed again.
  3. Start Uninstalling apps one by one starting with the most recent to see which one is the problem, and then don't reinstall that one.

I hope you can get your phone back to normal soon!

  • Could you mention the links for the said apps? That would be very helpful. – Firelord Jun 19 '15 at 5:30

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