Malware Alerts Prompt Google to Purge Android Apps From Play Store
17 September, 2017, 15:44 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
Real money poker apps from the three leading poker sites (PokerStars, 888poker and partypoker) are now available in the Google Play mobile app store in the UK.
That means the players in the United Kingdom can now download the poker apps straight from the Google Play Store, where the apps for sites like partypoker are now listed. Later in May Check Point researchers found other apps that tricked users to keep clicking on add-ons. With the number of Assistant apps growing, or at least changing, it may be time that Google look at introducing an assistant section to the Play Store.
According to the experts, Google has missed some warnings about the malware infection published by users who have downloaded the applications. Not only did it force people to sign up with subscriptions via SMS, but it was also able to remotely install applications as well as leaking user information including the phone number, Global Positioning System location, installed apps, and IP address.
The ExpensiveWall malware registers victims to premium services without their knowledge and sends fraudulent premium SMS messages, charging their accounts for fake services.
The malware not only generates profit but also manages to collect personal data of users and sends this information back to command and control server. The malware has since been removed but not before one of the applications was downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 the security vendor reported.
Security experts have discovered premium SMS Android malware lurking in legitimate looking apps on Google Play, which have been downloaded over four million times.
Google is apparently dealing with yet another Android malware outbreak.
Check Point has notified Google about the ExpensiveWall malware and the former has obliged with quick response by removing all the apps understood to be infected with the malicious code.
The security researchers said the malicious software could have infected as many as 21.1million devices after being downloaded up to 4.2million times.
Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, said: "With so much money being flushed into mobile phones and the technology that surrounds them, it's no surprise criminals are targeting their malware efforts in this direction". It derives its name from one of the apps it uses to infect devices called Lovely Wallpaper. The app would steal data from the users' phone and could also spy on them.
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