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Millions Download Malicious Software from Play, Google Removes Infected Android Applications


Android users counting in the millions likely have malicious software infecting their smart-phones thereby bearing additional costs because they inadvertently pulled down contaminated applications from Google's Play Store. A minimum of fifty applications inside the store had malicious software, state researchers from security firm Check Point. Although now the applications are no longer inside the store, nevertheless, there has already been massive downloading of the malware as many as 1m to 4.2m times.


It appears Google's work of eliminating all malware-laden apps from the company's mobile application store to be well progressing given that cyber-criminals have been successfully adding harmful software into the store. During the current week, 2 security agencies released their respective advisories cautioning people of coming across malware-infested apps inside Google Play. Eweek.com posted this, September 14, 2017.


Indeed following Check Point's notification to Google last month regarding the infected apps on Play, the Internet giant promptly removed the latest bunch of the apps. Nonetheless, just some days later, one more app containing malicious software was seen on Play that spread its infection onto over 5,000 Android phones prior to Google eliminating that too. There was payload in the malware which registered victimized users supposedly availing paid Internet-based services followed with dispatching them premium short messaging service missives from another targeted person's phone while leaving them with so-called unpaid bills.


The malicious programs were viruses in the guise of free video editing, camera or wallpaper applications. And because most of the contaminated applications happened to be fake wallpapers, Check Point dubbed the malicious software as "ExpensiveWall."


These phony applications managed towards bypassing Play Protect of Google that scrutinizes Android phones for malware, as fraudsters "packed" the malicious software and via a sophisticated hiding technique made it slip past Google's radar.


Meanwhile according to one Google spokesperson, Google has eliminated the problematic applications from Play while forever lauded the efforts of research community towards assisting in maintaining the safety of Android ecosystem.


Now although Google has cleared its Play Store off the malware-infected applications, anybody downloading any of them will still have his device contaminated, warns Check Point.

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