Google Play Store did have some issues with malware apps in the past. Unfortunately, it appears that the list of incidents is far from over. This time more than 80 Google Play Store apps were discovered and they managed to infect millions of smartphones.
Security experts discovered 85 fake Android applications on the app store and they all contained malware, ready to infect phones. Worse than that, the apps were quite popular and had millions of users. One of the applications was downloaded more than 5 millions times. The apps has in total nine million downloads.
Users at risk
The apps were discovered by experts from Trend Micro and they explained the major risk in a post. The apps appeared as remote or TV control simulator apps, games and so on. The name of the most popular on this list Is Easy Universal TV Remote. More than 130,000 Android users had rated it in the Play Store.
How does it work?
Trend Micro explained how the fake apps function:
“After the adware is downloaded and launched on a mobile device, a full-screen ad initially pops up. Upon closing the first ad, call to action buttons such as ‘start’, ‘open app’, or ‘next’, as well as a banner ad will appear on the mobile device’s screen. Tapping on the call to action button brings up another full-screen ad. After the user exits the full-screen ad, more buttons that provide app-related options for users appear on the screen. It also prompts the user to give the app a five-star rating on Google Play. If the user clicks on any of the buttons, a full-screen ad will pop up again.”
They also added that the apps had different makers and they even had different APK cert public keys. However, despite this fact they all acted similar, and they had the same code.
Juana loves to cover the tech and gaming industry, she always stays on the first row of CES conference and reports live from there.