Tuesday 20 August 2019

Thousands of malicious Android apps posing as popular apps


Emma Clark

There are thousands of malicious Android apps on third-party app stores, posing as legitimate apps. These apps open security holes and serve ads.

Lookout Security, a mobile security firm, has found that there are thousands of malicious Android apps posing as popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and more.

These apps have been labelled "trojanised adware," meaning that cybercriminals have found new ways of making money. To make matters worse, these apps are impossible to remove, forcing users to replace their handset entirely.

The only saving grace is that apps downloaded from the Google Play store, Android's official app store, don't seem to be affected. The apps are instead located on third-party app stores.

In many cases, the apps are still fully functional. They do, however, often create gaps in the Android's security, giving hackers more ways to launch attacks, and occasionally serve ads, which generates money for the hackers.

In a blog post, Lookout Security wrote, " Because these pieces of adware root the device and install themselves as system applications, they become nearly impossible to remove, usually forcing victims to replace their device in order to regain normalcy."

The company said that the highest detection rates are in the US and Germany, and other high Android market share countries. It expects trojanised malware to "continue gaining sophistication over time."

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