Despite many efforts by Google, malicious apps somehow managed to fool its Play Store’s anti-malware protections and infect people with malicious software.
The same as previous intrusions, at least 50 malicious applications managed to make their way into the Google Play Store and were successfully downloaded as many as 4.2 million times in one of the biggest malware outbreaks in years.
Last week, security firm Check Point published a blog entry revealing the android applications that were free to download on the official Play Store and which were downloaded millions of times before Google removed them.
These Android apps come with hidden malware injection that secretly logs victims for paid online services, sends fraudulent premium text messages from victims’ smartphones and leaves them to pay the bill—all without the knowledge or permission of users.
Dubbed ExpensiveWall by Check Point researchers, the malware comes hidden in free wallpaper, video or photo editing application. It’s a new variant of malware that Mcafee spotted earlier this year on the Play Store.
But what makes ExpensiveWall malware different from its other variants is that it makes use of an advanced obfuscation technique called “packed,” which compresses malicious code as well as encrypts it in order to evade Google Play Store’s built-in anti-malware protections.
The researchers notified Google of the malicious apps on August 7, and the software giant swiftly removed all of them, but within few days, the malware re-emerged on the Play Store and infected over 5,000 devices before it was removed four days later, Check Point revealed.