CAPE TOWN – If you have android phone or tablets, chances are that your cellphone is likely to have been affected by malware on Google Play Store. Millions of Android smartphones may have been infected by dangerous malware from at least 50 apps on the Google Play store.
Android owners have been warned that as many as 21.1million devices may have been infected by malware from apps that were on the Google Play store.
It’s believed to be the second biggest malware outbreak ever to hit Google Play after the Judy malware threat earlier this year.Researchers Check Point were the ones to discover the ExpensiveWall malware outbreak to hit Google’s Android OS and the Google Play Store.The malware sends fraudulent premium SMS messages and charges users’ accounts without them even realising it.
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ExpensiveWall was dubbed as the “ultimate spying tool” and could be modified to steal sensitive data, record audio and even capture pictures.
It can also collect information such as the location of a victim using the infected device and their IP address.
Check Point said the malicious software could have infected as many as 21.1million devices after being downloaded up to 4.2million times.
The new malware threat affecting Android and Google Play users was outlined in a Check Point blog post.
The blog lists all of the apps that have been affected by the ExpensiveWall malware, and if you have any of these you should delete them now.The security experts said: “The new strain of malware is dubbed ‘ExpensiveWall,’ after one of the apps it uses to infect devices, ‘Lovely Wallpaper.’“ExpensiveWall is a new variant of a malware found earlier this year on Google Play.“What makes ExpensiveWall different than its other family members is that it is ‘packed’ – an advanced obfuscation technique used by malware developers to encrypt malicious code – allowing it to evade Google Play’s built-in anti-malware protections.”They added: “It’s important to point out that any infected app installed before it was removed from the App store, still remains installed on users’ devices.
“Users who downloaded these apps are therefore still at risk and should manually remove them from their devices.”
A screenshot Check Point posted of the Lovely Wallpaper app in the Google Play store showed it had been downloaded up to 100,000 times alone.Check Point said they notified Google about the ExpensiveWall malware threat on August 7 2017.The search engine giant then swiftly removed the affected apps from the Google Play store.Express.co.uk have reportedly contacted Google for comment.
An app affected by the ExpensiveWall malware campaign, according to Check Point
Speaking to Forbes, Check Point mobile researcher Daniel Padon said the ExpensiveWall outbreak was probably only second to the Judy malware.The Judy malware campaign produced fake advertising clicks in order to generate revenues for those behind it.It was feared that 36.5million devices may have been infected by the malware from apps on the Google Play store.Experts said some 41 malicious apps which were downloaded up to 18.5m times from the Google Play store spread the malware.The Judy malware threat was once again discovered by Check Point, and was named ‘Judy’ after the cutesy character ‘Judy the chef’ who appears in most of the affected apps.
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PHOTO: Millions of Android phones may have been infected by malware found in apps on Google Play