From one month ago but Google has yet to clean out many of them and more are uploaded daily!
Security researchers have discovered a whopping 104 apps on Google Play store that contain a combination of adware and spyware features. These apps when downloaded, can infect other apps and pass on crucial private data to the servers owned by hackers.
Softpedia reported that Dr.Web, a security research organisation, has found around 104 Android apps that are distributing Android.Spy.277 malware. These apps are available on the Google Play store and have the tendency to spread the malware to other apps, and even download malware infected apps automatically. Most of these apps come across as blatant clones of popular apps and games and trick the user into believing that they are the original app so that they can download them.
The apps range from image editing software to live wallpapers and games to messaging services. A list of 104 apps that were detected by the Dr.Web team has been listed below and these aps have already been downloaded more than 3.2 million times till date.
The researchers mention that as soon as the malware is on the device, it starts collecting information such as IMEI code, Google Email address, Android OS version, the geolocation of the device, the phone number, tech specs of the device, Google Cloud Messaging ID, network information, root access availability and a few more. If your device is rooted, it can automatically gain admin permissions and infect other apps as well. The malware can also run background tasks such as browse through websites, download apps without the userís knowledge, send back information to the servers and wait for instructions from its hacker.
The malware is also proficient in showing ads in various methods. The hackerís servers can inctruct the malware to show ads in pop-ups, notification panel and even place shortcuts on the home screen. These shortcuts and pop-ups can access links in the local browser, Facebook app or the Google Play Store too. The malware also tries to install other malware infected apps in the background, making it difficult for the user to uninstall them. If the user tries to disable one malware app, the other one already installed takes over.
Users are warned to be careful on what they download from the Play Store and keep a tab on original apps vs fake ones. Always check the information of the app before downloading them and also check for the permissions each app asks when installing it. If you find anything fishy about the appís permission requirements, halt the installation and discard the same.
Check the list of the 104 apps that Dr.Web has identified as dangerous.