Malicious Apps Found in Android Store

Cyber criminals are camouflaging malware as apps from the Google Play Store to fool people into accidentally infecting their Android tablets and phones with software that performs unsolicited tasks. The apps numbering more than 100, have been collectively downloaded more than 3.2 million times, according to security researchers.

If you are using Android phone or tablet, be cautious when downloading and installing apps from the Google Play Store. Check the app’s download counts and reviews, and be careful when installing apps that are new to the store or those with a low rating.  Apps with high download counts and good reviews are usually less likely to be malicious than new ones with poor ratings.

These malicious apps are camouflaged as apps for games, photo-effects or other popular categories. But, in most cases, the apps didn’t work, as well as installing malware onto smartphones and tablets.

The aim of these malicious apps is to steal information, advertise and otherwise modify the programs on mobile devices. They take information such location, phone numbers and the phone’s unique identifying number (IMEI).

Criminals could use this stolen information to install additional malware to steal online banking credentials or for identity theft .

One malicious app displays warnings that the battery is damaged or overheating, encouraging the user to install a program to fix the problem. However, this could result in further unwanted actions.

How to Stay Safe

Antivirus software should be installed onto your smartphone or tablets.  Smartphones are basically small computers and need protection just like your computer or laptop.

Google is aware of the malicious apps and is actively removing them from the Android store, according to the security researchers. Of course, new malicious apps of this type could always appear in future.  Therefore, it is important that you are constantly alert about the apps they install onto your phone.

If you enjoy trying out brand new apps, buying a new smartphone or tablet for the this purpose only, is a safe method. Do not sign into your normal Google or online accounts or put any private data on this new phone, and exercise caution when connecting to WiFi. If you are not sure how to test apps safely, stay with more popular and tested apps from the Google Play Store or seek technical advice.

About the Author

Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.

Call us today on 1300 478 738 or email to discuss your requirements.