Android app is actually wallet-draining malware

By Nathan Kamal | Posted

Smartphones were supposed to make life better, or at least easier. The idea of ​​having a laptop supercomputer that acts as a virtual personal assistant, exercise tracker, and sometimes a phone has been the dream ever since we saw Captain James T. Kirk bark orders into one on the original. . star trek. However, it seems that they have become just another hassle in life, as reports indicate that dozens of Android apps are infected with malware designed to secretly steal personal data and find ways to take your money. This is not what we wanted the brave new world to be.

According to a report by PCMag, a new batch of Android apps containing infectious malware has been discovered. This is by no means the first (or probably the last) time that apps available for free on Google Play’s App Store have been found to be potentially harmful to users, but this is a particularly bad example. It seems Russian anti-malware company Doctor Web has uncovered a collection of 36 different Android apps that harbor malware disguising themselves as harmless “free” apps. The apps in question included photo and video editing services, virtual keyboards, system optimizers, wallpaper changes, note functions, and interface skins. Although many Android apps did indeed perform the advertised tasks, they also included malware intended to extort money from unsuspecting users.

Most of the malware in question had the same strategies. Some used code changes to trick a user’s phone into subscribing to premium (i.e., not free) services without their knowledge or explicit permission. Others have extracted personal data from phones which could then be sold to others or used to access social media accounts (presumably leading to more stolen data). Some disguised themselves as online dating apps, but would attempt to engage in an AI chat that would try to charge for the conversation. Some simply forced unwanted pop-up ads onto phones and attempted to make interaction with them impossible to avoid.

Many of these malware-filled Android apps attempt to disguise themselves immediately after being downloaded by asking for permissions to change their icon logos, descriptions, and locations. The hope is usually that they will escape users’ notice and not be deleted. Some malware apparently asks permission not to be automatically terminated by power-saving features, which allows it to constantly run in the background. Here is the list of harmful applications identified so far:

  • Photo editor: beauty filter (gb.artfilter.tenvarnist)
  • Photo editor: retouch and crop (de.nineergysh.quickarttwo)
  • Photo editor: artistic filters (gb.painnt.moonlightingnine)
  • Photo Editor – Design Creator (gb.twentynine.redaktoridea)
  • Photo editor and background eraser (de.photoground.twentysixshot)
  • Photo & Exif Editor (de.xnano.photoexifeditornine)
  • Photo Editor – Filter Effects (de.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx)
  • Photo filters and effects (de.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll)
  • Photo Editor: Blur Image (de.instgang.fiftyggfife)
  • Photo Editor: Cut, Paste (de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor)
  • Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIFs (gb.crazykey.sevenboard)
  • Neon Theme Keyboard (com.neonthemekeyboard.app)
  • Neon Theme – Android Keyboard (com.androidneonkeyboard.app)
  • Cashe Cleaner (com.cachecleanereasytool.app)
  • Fancy Loading (com.fancyanimatedbattery.app)
  • FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner (com.fastcleanercashecleaner.app)
  • Caller Skins – Caller Themes (com.rockskinthemes.app)
  • Funny Caller (com.funnycallercustomtheme.app)
  • CallMe Phone Themes (com.callercallwallpaper.app)
  • InCall: contact background (com.mycallcustomcallscrean.app)
  • MyCall – Call Personalization (com.mycallcallpersonalization.app)
  • Caller theme (com.caller.theme.slow)
  • Caller theme (com.callertheme.firstref)
  • Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen (com.funnywallpapaerslive.app)
  • Auto Wallpaper Changer 4K (de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc)
  • NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers (com.newscrean4dwallpapers.app)
  • Wallpapers and Backgrounds (de.stockeighty.onewallpapers)
  • Notes – reminders and lists (com.notesreminderslists.app)

While it doesn’t look good that the Google Play Market has allowed dozens of harmful Android rogue apps to be freely available, they have rigorous standards to try and keep them out. However, the creators of these apps (and malware) are constantly trying to circumvent these standards, so it’s no surprise that this sometimes happens. Reports say that the apps above have been downloaded around ten million times by unsuspecting users, which is pretty terrible no matter how you put it. Remember that when downloading apps always do your due diligence and make sure they look legit and have consistent, real reviews to help indicate that they are not harmful .

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