The cybersecurity company Symantec has identified a new wave of Android apps with malware that has been downloaded more than 2.1 million times on the Google Play Store. Altogether 25 APKs, most of which are photo editing or fashion apps, were published from 22 different developer accounts and had their first upload done in April this year. According to a publication this Monday (23) of the digital security group, the programs aggressively displayed ads on the entire smartphone screen.
Selfie app adware had more than 1.5 million downloads
Applications with malware had more than 2.1 million downloads on the Google Play Store – Photo: Disclosure / Symantec
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Reported to Google on the last day 2, all apps have already been removed from the Play Store. As most of the software found was similar in both content and programming, the Symantec believes that developers can be part of the same organization or are using the same source code.
Also according to Symantec, applications do the same. When installed, they initially work as they should, but begin, without the user’s knowledge, to operate in the background in order to download a remote configuration file. It was intercepted by the security company, which identified the ability to hide the apps icon and change settings related to ads.
Infected apps show advertisements on the smartphone screen – Photo: Disclosure / Symantec
After performing the procedure to hide the application icon, the malware begins to display full-page ads even when the program is not in use. Advertisements appear at random time intervals and have no indication of which app is responsible for displaying it, preventing the user from detecting the source of the problem.
To protect yourself from malware, it is important to take some concerns, such as keeping your device’s operating system up to date, not downloading apps from unknown websites, and only installing apps from verified and safe sources. In addition, it is always valid to make constant backups of your data and keep security applications and antivirus software installed on your smartphone – see the best options for Android in 2019.
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