Malicious apps continue to spread through the Google Play Store

Malicious apps continue to spread through the Google Play Store

Researchers at antivirus firm Dr. Web discovered malware in the Google Play Store that was downloaded two million times.

An investigation conducted by the antivirus firm Dr. Web in May resulted in the discovery of multiple adware and information-stealing malware on the official Google Play Store.

However, the experts warn that info-stealing Trojans are the most dangerous threats for Android users, they could be used to steal sensitive data such as login credentials and authorization for multiple services online.

The principal trends emerged from the Dr.Web report is the decreased activity of the Android.Spy.4498 trojan, while the activity of adware trojans increased.

The Android.Spy.4498 is a trojan that allows operators to steal the contents of other apps’ notifications, download other apps, and prompt users to install them.

Google Play Store 2

The most common unwanted program discovered by the researchers is Program.FakeAntiVirus.1, it is an adware that masquerades as anti-virus software. These apps inform users of non-existing threats, deceive them, and ask the victims to purchase the software’s full version.

“In May, Doctor Web specialists discovered a large number of threats on Google Play. The adware trojans Android.HiddenAds.3158 and Android.HiddenAds.3161 were among them.” reads the report published by Dr.Web.

Researchers discovered five malicious apps in the Google Play Store that totalized two million downloads.

  • PIP Pic Camera Photo Editor, an image-editing software with 1 million downloads.
  • Wild & Exotic Animal Wallpaper, an image-collection app with 500,000 downloads.
  • ZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder, an astrology-related software with 500,000 downloads.
  • PIP Camera 2022, an image-editing software with 50,000 downloads.
  • Magnifier Flashlight, a flashlight application with 10,000 downloads.
Google Play Store

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, malware)

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