Malware hidden in the Android apps would secretly register victims for paid services or send fraudulent text messages that people would have to pay for. These fake apps were free, but they ended up costing millions of people using Android.
Researchers from Check Point, a security company, said Thursday that they discovered 50 apps hiding malware on the Google Play Store. The malware was downloaded between 1 million and 4.2 million times before the affected apps were removed, said Check Point.
These viruses were disguised as free wallpaper, camera and video editing apps, but contained a costly side effect. Malware in the apps would secretly register victims for paid services or send fraudulent text messages that people would have to pay for. Check Point named the malware “ExpensiveWall,” after finding the majority of the infected apps were fake wallpapers.
ExpensiveWall is actually a new strain of a previously known malware, which McAfee discovered in January on Google Play. “The entire malware family has now been downloaded between 5.9 million and 21.1 million times,” said Check Point’s researchers in a blog post.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht