Google Play Store Invaded with Malware – Should You Be Afraid?

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This month there’s been a malware outbreak on Android due to infected apps which were found in Google Play Store.

More than 50 apps on Google Play Store were found to be malicious software that would send text messages with premium offers in order to charge people for services which turned out to be fake. Researchers from the Israeli cyber-security, Check Point Software Technologies, have made public a report on 14 September which contained this information.

Over 21 Million Users were Victims to the Malicious Apps

Daniel Padon, one of the researchers at Check Point said that the massive amount of apps were a malicious campaign which infiltrated Google Play Store. The malware harmed users by charging them for fake services, unlike other malware apps which just press ads for you in order to get revenue.

A few of the apps which were infected with malware are “Lovely Wallpaper”, “I Love Filter,” “Tool Box Pro,”Horoscope”, “Beautiful Camera”, “DIY Your Screen”, “Wifi Booster”, most of them being related to either Camera, Photos, Weather, Wallpapers, and Lock Apps.

How Did Malware Evade Security?

Those apps contained a malware that compressed code with encryption and masked any trace of it.

Fortunately, reviewers that installed those apps left negative reviews with messages such as “Spam app”, “Scam”, “Virus detected”, “It is NOTHING like the ad on Instagram” and this might have prevented others to install them. Based on other reviews, the researchers from Check Point believe that the apps were also promoted on social media networks through ads. Instagram and Facebook are one of the social networks that had ads which promoted malicious apps. Until now neither Instagram nor Facebook has reacted to this matter.

If there are users who installed an app which appears as a malicious app in Check Point’s list (on their official webpage), then you should manually remove it.

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