Android Malware Discovered On Google Play Store Downloaded At Least 500,000 Times

A New Android Exploit has the Ability to Hide Malicious Activity

An Android malware was discovered on the Google Play Store. The malware uses advertisements and web links to create an income.

A new day, a new malware discovered. It has become quite a common thing in the tech industry to see malware in everything. Hackers and cybercriminals are always looking to capitalize on anything that will give them money, and this time it’s not different.

Researchers at the security firm, SophosLabs, managed to reveal a new malware on the Android platform. The malware was embedded in some QR reader apps and it looked innocent on the Google Play Store. The malware was created in such a way that it would inundate users with advertisements that fill up the whole screen. The attackers used this method to be able to create a revenue for themselves thus.

The security researchers named the malware the, Andr/HiddnAd-AJ. They discovered the malware in at least six of the QR code reading apps. There was also one smart compass app which was infected. The Google Play Store has an app which is supposed to strengthen the Store’s security. However, it seems the apps managed to evade the Security app and found themselves on the market.

How does it work?

The experts revealed that the app works by infecting the device and then playing the waiting game. After the elapsed six-hour period, the app starts to flood the users’ phone with advertisements which are irritating, to say the least. They also show notifications which have some web links. This is how the apps create a revenue for the attackers.

Paul Ducklin, one of the researchers at SophosLabs, said that in most part the adware of all the apps looked like a standard and modern programming library of Android. The apps included an unsuspecting graphics and also has programming routines that are otherwise seen in normal Android programs. The malware, is, in other words, hiding in plain sight, he said.

The apps and the malware were believed to have affected at least several devices. The malware is believed to have been downloaded close to 500,000 times. Thankfully, Google acted swiftly and managed to remove the apps before they could exert more damage.

If any users downloaded these apps, they are encouraged to delete them immediately. It is also advisable to stick to the Play Store for safe download of apps. Avoidance of unnecessary app downloading is also encouraged. Use of an anti-malware app is also advised as it will help in keeping your device safe. Regular scans would be necessary to keep your device safe.