Last updated on September 19th, 2022 at 11:46 am
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Google Play store malwares are growing at an alarming rate and most of the malware that can be found on the Play Store is displaying ads and stealing credentials.
Malware that targets android is not new, what is really surprising was the fact that even the most trusted Play Store is not safe for malware, and the reason for this was the large Android Ecosystem, Google announced that there are 2.5 billion active user devices are the largest operating system in all smartphones, can you imagine that number? How large is 2.5 billion? And the massive number of android users is the reason why Android is the prime target for cybercriminals.
List of malicious apps on Google play store
Dendroid Banner Screenshot via Symantec blog.
In 2014 when Symantec a cybersecurity company discovered a Google Play store malware application designed to penetrate Google Play, the malware was named Dendroid a kind of spyware that can download pictures from the target device, ability to block SMS received by the target device, record calls, and more.
Camera Vision Nocturna
Camera Nocturna Apps Screenshots via Avast blog.
Also in 2014 Avast Detected a Google play store malware application named Camera vision Nocturna that can be downloaded on Google Playstore, this malware is disguised as a night vision camera application, but instead, it steals contact no. from WhatsApp, Telegram, or ChatOn, and subscribe secretly to a premium messaging service and charge up to $50.
One of the AsiaHitgroup as Google Play Store malware apps, Screenshot via Malwarebytes Blog.
In 2017 a new group of Play Store Malware applications called Asiahitgroup unveiled by Malwarebytes has forms of an alarm clocks app, QR scanner, compass app, photo editor, file explorer, and Internet speed test apps.
These apps are a trojan at first they will look like innocent apps, but after just a while they will be vanished from the user’s eye and become more impossible to uninstall without a malware removal tool, if not removed the malware itself will continue to push some adds to victims device.
ExpensiveWall Google Play Store Malware apps, Screen Shot via Checkpoint blog.
Another Google Play store Malware that is disguised as a Wallpaper app 2017, found by Checkpoint security, like the Camera Vision Nocturna, Expensive Wall secretly registers its victim for premium SMS services and charges the user account.
The expensive wall infects 50 apps and is downloaded at least 4.2 million times.
Luxury car and Truck simulation
In 2018 when Forbes said that an Android malware researcher Lukas Stefanko told them, that there are more than 560,000 have been tricked by downloading a Truck simulation app on Playstore.
Because it is a Google play store malware, apps will not work as intended, instead, they will be hidden in plain sight and started to display some ads on victims’ devices.
Latest Malware on Google Play Store (2019)
TouchPal keyboard infected by BeiTaAd, Screenshot via Lookout Security.
Another Google Play Store malware is found this June 2019 by Lookout security company, the BeiTaAds is a plugin that infects the famous TouchPal keyboard.
This adware is not shown first after installing the TouchPal keyboards instead, it may take some days before it performs its malicious activity.
Then the BeiTaAds start to Bombard the user with ads and leave the device nearly useless, according to Lookout many users of TouchPal say the ads are so intrusive that they can’t even answer calls because the ads continuously pop up, and even in the lock screen the malware are continuously pop-up.
Pink Camera Malware
Is a Google Play Store Malware uncovered by Kaspersky this year 2019, this kind of Malware is a backdoor one of the most dangerous kinds of malware that leave the victim’s device open and completely controlled by an attacker.
The Pink Camera is a semi-functional app and another kind of Google Play store malware, and has decent performance as an editing app, for that reason the victim will not suspect an app as malware, but without their knowledge, the app itself will start to steal some valuable information such as phone number, and that information will be used to subscribe the victim to a premium service and charge a couple of bucks a month.
Scary Granny Zombie Mods Apps
The Scary Granny apps, Google Play Store Malware, Screenshot via Wandera.
A Google Play Store malware was caught this year in 2019, but this time it was uncovered by Wandera security research, this game app was a functional horror game app, at first, the game did not show any malicious activity, but after two days, the app starts to show its magic.
First, the malware checks the android version if the device has a newer android version the malware did not attempt, but if the device has an older android version the malware starts its evil doing, the reason for this because the newer version of Android is more secure than the older version.
Let’s back to the malware, after the malware checks the android version it starts to attempt a phishing attack, there will be a notification that will tell the user to update the Google security service, then the user will be presented with a fake Google Login it will steal the victim’s username and login, Wandera said it can also steal some credential like recovery email, recovery phone numbers, birthday, verification codes, cookies, and tokens.
In addition, this malware can also display some ads secretly in the background, it will have appeared like there are open apps in the background like Facebook and Amazon but instead, it was an ad from Scary Granny.
The Alarming parts of these apps are that the game was fully functional, and the victim can play the game with a nice game interface. it was clear that the developer of this app got some effort just to make the game unsuspicious, and leave the victims unaware.
The Malware that can be found on the Play Store is growing and has no sign of stopping, the main reason for this is profit, Ads are profitable, and ads are not illegal if it is used for good.
Based on the previous Malware that was found on the play store, they have a similar strategy, stealing credentials, and displaying prevalent ads.
Malware that is on my list is all uncovered and removed from the plays store, but keep in mind that there might be some malware hiding in play store, so be aware and be vigilant. !!