Crime Technology

Newly Discovered Android Malware Was Downloaded Millions Of Times

Newly Discovered Android Malware Was Downloaded Millions Of TimesSecurity firm Lookout has detailed a clever new bit of Android Malware lurking in the Google Play store. The good news: unless you’re downloading questionable Russian clone apps, you’re probably not affected. The bad news: that hasn’t kept it from being downloaded a few million times.

The new malware, fittingly dubbed “BadNews”, has been spotted tucked into 32 different apps from 4 separate developer accounts. Since Google Play only gives download numbers as huge ranges, no one can say exactly how many devices this has affected. With the lowball estimates, it’s around two million. On the high end, it’s as many as nine million. In reality, it’s somewhere in between the two. …

While Google has been making an effort to crackdown on malware with things like Bouncer (which constantly scans the Play store’s apps for telltale signs of malware), it’s a never-ending (and very much uphill) battle. BadNews snuck into the store by posing as an ad network, only firing off the nasty bits of code by way of remote signal once it had found its way onto a bunch of devices.

So, what makes BadNews bad news? It does at least two things you’d probably rather your phone didn’t do:

Fakes alerts encouraging you to download other infected apps, as well as things things like AlphaSMS, which hijacks your phone and silently signs it up for premium SMS services. Sends your phone number and unique device i.d (the IMEI) back to the malware’s mothership …

Following LookOut’s report, Google has pulled all 32 known-infected apps for the store.

Malware? On Android?! …

Be careful out there. Keep up with the news and know when to update things.

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