Mas­sive An­droid mal­ware out­break

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

IF YOU have an An­droid hand­set, your cell­phone is likely to have been af­fected by mal­ware on Google Play Store.

The bad news is that it’s also likely to af­fect your phone bill.

Play Store has re­port­edly in­fected mil­lions of phones with de­struc­tive mal­ware, which is be­lieved to stem from at least 50 apps on Google Play.

“Ex­pen­siveWall” is recog­nised as the sec­ond big­gest ever mal­ware out­break to hit Google Play af­ter the Judy mal­ware ear­lier this year – that’s ac­cord­ing to www.ex­press.

Re­searchers Check Point dis­cov­ered the mal­ware out­break, which tar­geted Google’s An­droid OS and Play Store.

The mal­ware, dubbed as the “ul­ti­mate spy­ing tool”, sends obliv­i­ous users fraud­u­lent pre­mium text and charges users’ ac­counts.

It can steal sen­si­tive data and col­lect in­for­ma­tion such as the lo­ca­tion of a vic­tim us­ing the mal­ware-hit de­vice and its IP ad­dress.

The se­cu­rity re­searchers said the ma­li­cious soft­ware could have in­fected as many as 21.1 mil­lion de­vices af­ter be­ing down­loaded up to 4.2 mil­lion times.

“This was one of the most ex­ten­sive mal­ware cam­paigns to in­fil­trate Google Play Store, both in size and in its ma­li­cious ef­fect,” For­tune. com quoted Daniel Padon, mo­bile threat re­searcher at Check Point, as say­ing.

“Un­like most mal­ware found on Google Play, this di­rectly in­flicts harm on users,” he said.

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