Hundreds of Apps on Google Play Infected with Windows-Based Malware: Palo Alto Networks

New Malware, Switcher Trojan, Targets Android Users and Wi-Fi Networks

More than 130 of common android-based apps found on the Google Playstore have been infected by old forms of various windows-based malware, Palo Alto Networks has reported.

According to the cyber security firm, many apps that users of android devices are innocently downloading from the Google Playstore have already been infected by some of the most old but highly virulent forms of malware and that this exposes millions of users to security risks.

‘we have found out that many users are oblivious of the danger that they face when they download some of these apps, given that the apps have malicious code that automatically links a device to remote servers,’ says Ryan Olson, the intelligence director at the firm.

According to Palo Alto Networks, its researchers have discovered that some apps on Google Playstore have an old form of iFrame that automatically links the devices of individuals to malicious websites.

It has been reported that once people download the apps, they see seemingly benign web pages displayed on their devices.

‘Sadly, no one can tell for sure that the pages that the apps display actually contain a form of malware that exposes the users to various security risks,’ cyber security experts at Palo Alton Networks have added.

However, it has been noted that the recent cases of malware in some android-based apps cannot be blamed on the developers.

According to Palo Alto Network researchers, it is likely that the new malware forms arose from a common problem that is related to Windows.

It is highly likely that the developers were using Windows computers that were already infected by some old Windows-based malware, it has been reported.

It has further been reported that it is likely that the malware-infected computers infected the new apps that were developed on the compromised machines.

Palo Alto Networks researchers have further pointed out that it is possible that the developers of the apps used developer tools that had already been tampered by malware.

‘We cannot tell for sure what exactly happened, however, going by the recent findings, we can conclude that it is highly unlikely that the developers maliciously infected their apps with malware and then submitted the malware to Google Playstore.

Among the 132 apps that Palo Alto Networks says are infected, some have been downloaded up to 100,000 times. Google has already removed all the infected apps from its app store.