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Malicious Apps With Trojans Detected On Google Play Store

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An alert has been issued warning Android users about a list of malicious apps on the Google Play Store programmed as trojans by scammers and info-stealers targeting confidential information of recipients installing the app on their mobiles. A report by Dr Web named “Doctor Web’s June 2022 review of virus activity on mobile devices” suggest these malicious apps are a threat to Android users worldwide.

The report read, “in June, the activity of the Android.Spy.4498 trojan, which steals information from other apps’ notifications, continued to decrease; it was detected on Android devices 20.56% less often than in May. The activity of Android.HiddenAds adware trojans also decreased, but less noticeably, by 8%. With that, these malicious apps remain among the most widespread Android threats. Over the month, Doctor Web’s malware analyst discovered dozens of malicious apps on Google Play. Among them were adware trojans, fake apps used by scammers, info-stealers targeting confidential data, and others.”

Till now, 30 adware trojans have been detected from more than 98,90,000 downloads from Android.HiddenAds family. The malicious apps can be a virtual keyboard, image editing software, system tools and utilities, calling apps, and wallpapers collection apps among others.

These applications are difficult to detect as the trojans keep their icons hidden from the list of installed apps in the menu, and home screen or they replace themselves with the less noticeable apps. The reports further inform that while some apps request the users’ permission to display on the window, the other apps add themselves to the exclusion list of the battery-saving feature.

The applications that come with the trojan, namely, are Photo Editor: Beauty Filter; Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout; Photo Editor: Art Filters; Photo Editor- Design Maker; Photo Editor & Background Eraser; Photo & Exif Editor; Photo Editor- Filter Effects; Photo Filters & Effects; Photo Editor: Blur Image; Photo Editor: Cut Paste; Emoji Keyboard: Stickers & GIF; Neon Theme Keyboard; Cashe Cleaner; Funny Wallpapers- Live Screen; Notes- reminders and lists and many others.

As per Dr Web’s research other trojans have also been detected from the Android.Joker family can download and execute arbitrary codes and subscribe to victims for paid services without their knowledge. Dr Web’s report also said, “one of them hidden in third-party launcher ‘Poco Launcher’, while another was in the ‘4K Pro Camera’ app. A third was in the ‘Heart Emoji Stickers’ stickers collection app.”

The report informed that the apps ask the user to log into their accounts on social media and then post a genuine Facebook authorization page. Followed by this, the scammers and info-stealers gain knowledge of authentic data and transfer it to other scammers.

All Android users are advised to delete any such applications from their mobiles and take caution while downloading any app from Google Play Store. It is also advisable to change the passwords of their social media accounts after uninstalling the malicious apps.

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