Check your phone! More bad apps caught hiding in the Google Play Store

The official Google Play Store is the only place where you can download applications for your Android devices. Third-party stores do not have a robust auditing process and often contain dangerous malware. But what happens if the official app store is also a source of malware distribution?

Getting infected with malicious applications inadvertently is a real threat. Google runs security checks, but cybercriminals have gotten crafty about evading detection.

Read on to see what security researchers have discovered and how to keep your Android devices free of malware.

Here’s the backstory

In theory, Google’s Play Store for Android applications should be free of security threats, trojans and malware. That’s because every app in the store goes through a review process and Google rejects apps that don’t follow the rules.

But criminals have found a way to bypass the vetting process. Recently, for example, an antivirus app called Antivirus, Super Cleaner has hidden the malicious SharkBot malware. A QR code app was also caught hiding the banking Trojan TeaBot.

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An investigation by Dr. Web found that the Google Play Store is plagued by malware and trojans. The analysis showed some WhatsApp clones used to distribute malware. These apps have been downloaded by many.

According to GBWhatsApp, OBWhatsApp or WhatsApp Plus, they were responsible for almost 25% of all infections tracked by the company. In dr. Web’s January 2022 virus activity assessment on mobile devices. It also notes that many malicious apps come from the Android.FakeApp family.

Apps that have been hacked in the Google Play Store include:

GBWhatsApp – Designed to steal notification content such as one-time PINs, two-factor authentication codes, or login credentials. Adorn Photo Pro – A trojan that targets confidential information such as Facebook and Instagram credentials. Up Your Mobile, Morph Faces, and Top Navigator – Trojans from the Android.Subscription family. Their goal is to subscribe victims to paid mobile services. Chain Reaction – This app claims to help you invest in certain companies without you having to do anything. However, the bogus app did not invest any money, instead transferring money to scammers.

What can you do about it?

While you should always download applications only from the Google Play Store, you should still make sure that they are legit. Cyber ​​criminals are tricky and will find ways to outsmart the audit process for a while.

But Google will eventually find and remove the culprits. Many of the malicious apps in Dr. Web have already been removed from the Google Play Store.

Here are more ways to protect against malware:

Read the reviews and comments before downloading or installing an app. If the rating is bad, stay away from it. Android users are quick to give a bad review or comment if it’s a scam. Please read the app’s permissions carefully before completing the installation process. Make sure it doesn’t access any personal information or overwrite your cell phone’s actions. Keep an eye on your battery level after installing a new app. If it drains faster than expected, the newly installed app may be handling unwanted processes in the background. Get reliable antivirus software on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV† Now, get an annual subscription of TotalAV Internet Security for only $19 at† That’s over 85% off the regular price!

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