Another cybersecurity threat has been discovered in the Google Play store: a group of apps containing malware. Thankfully, Google has already removed them from the marketplace.
Combing through the Android marketplace, researchers at ESET discovered eight malicious apps containing the ill-reputed Trojan Dropper. This particular malware is known to compromise your phone’s cybersecurity by downloading banking trojans and installing spyware.
The hackers were able to trick victims into downloading these malicious apps, which paraded as system cleaners and other types of useful apps. Their true intentions were able to remain concealed due to the delay in the installation of payload, and code obfuscation. The fact that these apps don’t require any suspicious permissions to be installed also played a huge role.
Furthermore, the malicious intent of these apps was quite difficult to ascertain because the apps fulfilled what they promised, it’s just that they initiated malicious processes simultaneously. Specifically, the malicious parts of these apps came disguised as an app update, the approval of which actually initiated the third phase of the malicious software dropping process.
Following the successful installation of the update, the malware starts downloading additional malicious code to your smartphone. Researchers from ESET estimate that around 3,000 users came to this point of infection, with most of them being from The Netherlands. The very same team of researchers alerted Google about what was going on, and thanks to their efforts, these malicious Android apps are no longer available in the Google Play Store.