In September alone, over 335 million Android users were tricked into downloading malware-infected apps from the Google Play Store. In all, 172 apps that contained threats such as adware and auto-enrollment in fraudulent subscription services circumvented Google's store security mechanism. The information was released on Tuesday (1) by researcher Lukas Stefanko of cybersecurity company ESET.
Applications with adware have been downloaded over 300 million times and account for 89% of infected app installs. From a total of 48 malicious ad programs, at least 46 were owned by the same developer and have already been removed from the Play Store. Second, with over 20 million downloads, are applications that hid automatic service subscription scams.
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Over 170 malicious Android apps had 335 million installations Photo: Reproduction / Rodrigo Fernandes
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Other types of malware found on the Play Store include hidden advertisements, premium SMS service enrollment, banking Trojans, fake antivirus and stalkerwares. It is noteworthy that the data released by Stefanko only indicate the amount of downloads that applications have accumulated since the time they were discovered by the researcher. It is possible that the number is larger than indicated in the survey.
The good news is that, according to Stefanko, most harmful apps appear to have been removed by Google. "If not all, most of these apps are definitely no longer available on Google Play," the researcher said in an interview with the site. The Next Web.
It's not today that Google faces security holes in its app store. The company says it has sought to improve the approval process of apps to avoid problems like this. While gaps are not repaired, Android users can use Google Play Protect to tighten the security of the device. Also, it is always recommended to keep antivirus software installed on your smartphone to see the best options for Android in 2019.
Via Lukas Stefanko and The Next Web
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