Android Warning Against Malicious Apps in the Samsung Galaxy Store


Google’s Android operating system is warning users of Samsung devices against installing certain Galaxy Store apps that apparently contain malicious code.

The issue, first reported by Android Police, relates to Showbox, a now defunct movie pirating platform. Apps mimicking Showbox have made their way into the Galaxy Store, with manufacturers betting that the original app’s previous success would appeal to a range of users.

The “Blocked by Play Protect” dialog box appears when a user attempts to install the application, with the standard warning “This application may be harmful”.

Cyber ​​security aggregator VirusTotal, in an analysis of one of the Showbox clones, revealed more than a dozen low-quality alerts, ranging from risky software to adware. Some apps also ask for more permissions than usual.

A security analyst by the name of “linuxct” has stated that although the application in question does not directly contain malware when distributed, it can download and execute other code, possibly including software. malicious.

“So at any time it can turn into a Trojan / malware that’s why it’s dangerous and that’s why so many vendors reported it in VT / Play Protect,” the analyst added.

The National was unable to verify the issue on a few Samsung devices, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G and the newer Galaxy Z Flip3, both of which have the latest versions from the Galaxy Store. Searching for “Showbox” did not return any relevant results; and trying to install less advertised apps similar to this didn’t trigger any warnings.

It is not clear at the time of writing if this has been fixed or if the availability of Showbox clones is regional.

Malware infections are a serious problem that endangers user data, from simple personal information like birthdays and emails to sensitive information like passwords and bank account numbers.

At the enterprise level, certain types of infection could lead to complete network failure or the loss of critical data, according to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Ransomware, the most common type of malware, is expected to cost its victims more than $ 265 billion annually by 2031, according to a 2021 report from Cybersecurity Ventures. He estimated it would cost users around $ 20 billion last year, 57 times more than in 2015.

South Korea’s Samsung, the world’s largest cellphone supplier, has not officially responded to the problem.

Showbox became popular because it gave users free access to movies and TV shows, but has been taken down several times for distributing illegal or pirated content.

Update: January 5, 2022, 4:45 p.m.


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