According to a recent report, there are many apps on Google Play Store which are not only malicious but also a threat to privacy. Read on to know about it…
According to a recent report, several Android apps on Google Play Store are not only malicious but also a threat to privacy. These malicious Android apps may also lead to financial crime by stealing sensitive data like credit card/debit card or e-banking passwords. Though Google has its Google Play Protect feature to check whether apps on Google play store are malicious apps or not, there are hackers who are smart enough to bypass these checks. A recent report has revealed that a bunch of virus-containing apps has got onto the Google play store in the past two years.
In a study by antivirus provider Sophos, close to two dozen apps with more than 2 million downloads were discovered on the Play Store, containing a backdoor that allowed them to subtly download files from a hacker controlled-server.
The 22 apps included nondescript titles like Sparkle Flashlight, Zombie Killer, and Table Soccer, the first of those having over 1 million downloads on its own since it appeared on the store in 2016. “These apps include non-description titles like Zombie Killer, Sparkle Flashlight, Table Soccer these apps have more than 1 million downloads since they appeared on the store in 2016. According to antivirus provider Sophos, it was a year later in March this year, Sparkle Flashlight and 2 other apps were updated to include the malicious Virus that can provide the hacker to access the user’s phone. The other 19 apps were introduced to the play store with the background downloader at the start, sometime after June this year,” said Manish Kumawat, Director at Cryptus Cyber Security.
Kumawat said that Google has removed these apps, but only by November this year. But before November attackers were using them to serve ads generating clicks to earn money. “Once opened up, these ads would run continuously in the background without the knowledge of the user, even if tried to close forcefully, draining both Internet data and batteries. Since these viruses provide connection to the hacker, they can also be used to force a smartphone to run the harmful code, stealing a person’s data in the process,” he said.
Google did eventually remove the apps, but only by November this year. Until then, attackers were using them to constantly serve up ads and fraudulently generate clicks on them to earn money. Once opened up, these ads would continue to run in the background even if force-closed by a user, draining both Internet data and batteries. But that’s just the immediate consequences of the apps. Because these kinds of malware employ backdoor systems, they can also be used to force a smartphone to run harmful code, stealing a person’s data in the process.
Worryingly, many of these malicious apps were from developers that also had entries in the iOS App Store, meaning they could have similar apps for your iPhone as well.
While Google has removed these malicious apps from its Google play store, users who have downloaded it and are still using it, stilling infecting the users. So, if you have downloaded any of the below listed malicious apps, you need to uninstall these apps immediately.
While Google has taken down the offending apps from its stores, it’s likely the phones that downloaded them are still infected. So if you’ve downloaded any of these following apps, you need to act immediately.
01) Sparkle FlashLight,
02) Snake Attack,
03) Math Solver,
05) Tak A Trip,
07) Join Up,
08) Zombie Killer,
09) Space Rocket,
10) Neon Pong,
11) Just Flashlight,
12) Table Soccer,
13) Cliff Diver,
14) Box Stack,
15) Jelly Slice,
16) AK Blackjack,
17) Color Tiles,
18) Animal Match,
19) Roulette Mania,
You should be very careful in future while downloading such apps from the play store. To be safe, install an active antivirus in your smartphone. You should also scan your phone time to time for any malicious threats.