New adware hidden in 210 Android apps has been downloaded over 150 million times on Google Play. The baptized threat of SlimBad will be undone through platform advertisements and thus generate no suspicion on victims. The virus, which has been identified by researchers at security firm Check Point, mainly affects simulation games that total more than 55 million downloads, concentrated in ten applications. Nonetheless, in a January 2018 official statement, Google pointed out measures against malicious content in 2017 and reaffirmed its commitment to "provide a safe experience for billions of users."
According to company monitoring, SlimBad was hidden within a software development kit (SDK) used for advertising and monetization purposes. In addition to displaying infected advertisements, malware is also capable of opening the browser on any page, including websites. phishing, and download more malicious apps from Google's official store or from a remote server. However, the only malicious activity recorded by Check Point experts was the display of advertisements.
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Google Play Store had 700,000 apps removed from its catalog in 2017 Photo: Thssius Veloso / dnetc
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The strategy used in virus development made removal difficult. The SDK came with a code that allowed SlimBad to remove its own icon. This way, it went unnoticed while using the device. To gain access to the device's functioning, malware would be loaded in the background each time the system was started and thus would serve advertisements to generate fraudulent revenue.
Google has removed infected content reported by Check Point from the official app store. Adware has also been found in photo editors and wallpaper download apps.
O dnetc contacted the company, but there was no response so far. According to the TechCrunch portal, mobile phone infection via Google Play is a recurring system issue. In 2017, the Android developer removed about 700,000 dangerous software from the download platform. However, it is noteworthy that the measure does not exclude items from users' phones this must be done manually.
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