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A melicious app with tons of stuff

Think Google Play is safe? According to the simply security blog, maybe not so much@! The article entitled Malicious Optimizer and Utility Android Apps on Google Play Communicate with Trojans that Install Malware, Perform Mobile Ad Fraud could be simple enough, but can also be packed with stuff you aren’t looking for.

We recently discovered several malicious optimizer, booster, and utility apps (detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS_BadBooster.HRX) on Google Play that are capable of accessing remote ad configuration servers that can be used for malicious purposes, perform mobile ad fraud, and download as many as 3,000 malware variants or malicious payloads on affected devices. These malicious apps, which are supposed to increase device performance by cleaning, organizing, and deleting files, have been collectively downloaded over 470,000 times. Our telemetry shows that this campaign has been active since 2017. As of writing time, Google Play has already removed the malicious apps from the Play Store.

Based on our analysis, the 3,000 malware variants or malicious payloads (detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS_BoostClicker.HRX) that can be possibly downloaded to an affected device with this campaign pretend to be system applications that do not show app icons on the device launcher or application list. The cybercriminals behind this campaign can use the affected device to post fake positive reviews in favor of the malicious apps, as well as perform multiple ad fraud techniques by clicking on the ads that pop up.

I’m sure that Android is not the only place for stuff to slip through, and it interests me to know if Apple has not been bitten by this. We’re all human, and while apple has human intervention, I’m sure this type of thing can slip through.

This is why its a reminder, especially if you’re sighted and go after some of these apps we blind can’t go after, that you look carefully to see what its going to do. Its not enough just to read who puts them out, but to read the descriptions. Even when I’m told about an app, I read the description to see if thats the right one.

I went clicking on a link to a news article and it opened up google’s app which I knew nothing about. It took a couple of times for me to open the article, but it just shows that things interesting happen and I’m glad I didn’t stall this app from Google even though it was probably safe to do so.

If there is a community, I’d ask if anyone has heard of the app that you know. While I only gave the first portion of the article, its very detailed on what these apps are capable of doing.

Seen something like this? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.


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A melicious app with tons of stuff was released on February 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm by tech in article commentary.
Last modified: February 8, 2020.


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