Android Malware Infecting 60 Apps With Over 100 Million Downloads Discovered on Google Play Store: Details
We all know that Google Play Store is the go-to marketplace for Android apps. But just how safe and secure are the apps we download from this store? According to recent research, 60 apps on the Google Play Store were found to be holding a malicious Android malware. This malware had already been downloaded over a staggering 100 million times. Keep reading to find out all the details behind this startling revelation.
I. An Overview of the Android Malware Infection
Android malware is a major threat to mobile security. It is a form of malicious software or code that is installed onto a user’s device without their consent, with the intention of stealing personal or sensitive data.
Malware threats come in a variety of forms, from ransomware and cryptojacking to malicious apps and virus-infected URLs. They can cause unwanted advertising and data theft, as well as slow down devices by taking up system resources. When correctly identified, it is possible to remove the malware from the device but, in many cases, the user is not aware of the infection beforehand.
- Ransomware targets a user’s data, typically encrypting it and asking for payment in exchange for access.
- Cryptojacking occurs when a malicious program or website uses the processing power of a user’s device to mine cryptocurrency without the user’s knowledge.
- Malicious Apps are released on behalf of a malicious actor, using features and design elements to influence users into downloading them. Once installed, they can collect and use user data without the user knowing.
- Virus-infected URLs can be used to download malicious software into the user’s device. When a user clicks on a virus-infected link, malicious code is downloaded onto the device.
II. Overview of the Infected Apps
In this section, we will provide an overview of all the apps which have been infected as part of this security breach. According to initial reports, there are a total of 43 infected apps that can be found across Google Play, Huawei App Store, and Xiaomi App Store.
The malicious code found during the security breach is a variant of the Triada malware, and the affected apps are mostly gambling and gaming apps. Below you will find a list of all the affected apps grouped by app stores:
- Google Play Store
- Built Draw
- Created Cars
- Unbroken Numbers
- Best Draw
- Via Cars
- Flew Numbers
- Hum Draw
- Tried Cars
- Cashed Numbers
- Huawei App Store
- Far Draw
- Moved Cars
- Use Numbers
- Var Draw
- Ague Cars
- Rake Numbers
- Flop Draw
- Frosted Cars
- Loaded Numbers
- Xiaomi App Store
- Hid Draw
- Chore Cars
- Cage Numbers
- Oct Draw
- Dried Cars
- Chin Numbers
- Famous Draw
- Bang Cars
- Lep Numbers
It is important to note that these are just the apps that have been identified during the security breach investigation, and there may still be other compromised apps present on each app store.
III. The Impact of the Malware
The impact of malware depends on its goals and target. It may range from a damaged reputation to economic losses. Malware is typically used to gain access or control over systems or to disrupt the activities of businesses and government services. In individuals, it can hijack passwords, banking information, and other private data that can be sensitive and confidential.
The impacted groups from malware vary. Businesses, including their customers, may have their data and operations compromised. Personal information can be lost or stolen. Governments and public services may have their operations disrupted. In the worst cases, malware can lead to major incidents, such as data breach, loss of intellectual property, major data thefts, hacks to critical systems, and even destabilization of democratic systems and economies.
- Businesses: data and operations compromised
- Individuals: passwords, banking information, and other private data
- Governments: operations disrupted
- Major incidents: data breach, loss of intellectual property, data thefts, hacks to critical systems
IV. Action Taken by Google to Combat the Malware
Google is as serious about combatting malware as it is about protecting its users. In order to protect its users and to combat the malicious activities, Google has taken many steps.
Google Play Protect is the most significant measure taken by Google to eradicate malware. The software is deployed onto Android devices in order to detect, remove and prevent malicious applications from transmitting data. It uses machine learning to scan applications continuously and identify malicious behaviour. With regular updates, Google Play Protect gets smarter and safer.
Google also offers many other services to help protect its users from malicious attacks. These services include:
- Google Security Sandbox, an online security service that blocks malicious websites and applications;
- Google Chrome safe browsing, a service that warns users when they attempt to visit potentially dangerous websites;
- Google Safe Browsing API, which helps protect against phishing and other malicious activities;
- Google Advanced Protection Program, which provides extra protection for users who are most at risk of being targeted.
Google is committed to fighting malware and protecting its users by using the latest technologies and strategies. It is continuously improving the services it offers, and regularly updates its products to ensure that its users are always secure.
Google has acted promptly to take corrective action, leading to the removal of all these malicious apps. This serves as a reminder to consumers to be cautious when downloading apps and to double-check both the ratings and reviews before downloading any app. Taking note of such measures can help protect user devices from malicious threats.