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17 September 2017, 03:44 | Justin Tyler
21 million users fall victim to second Google Android malware attack
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"Check Point's mobile threat research team identified a new variant of an Android malware that sends fraudulent premium SMS messages and charges users' accounts for fake services without their knowledge." the Check Point analysis states.
When the victims install the application, it requests a permission to access the internet and send and receive SMS messages.
Researchers at the security firm Check Point revealed in a post earlier today that these apps made charges for fee-based services without the permission or knowledge of users.
The ExpensiveWall malware has infected at least 50 apps and was been downloaded between 1 million and 4.2 million times before the affected apps were removed, CheckPoint reported citing Google Play data. Most probably, this time the malicious app has infected more than 5,000 devices before it was removed four days later.
Although the aim of this malware is to make as much money as possible off the back of premium rate SMS messages, it could be modified to steal sensitive data, capture pictures and record audio and send to the C&C server. It was downloaded a million times, but it showed that even Google's best safeguards aren't able to keep malware away 100% of the time.
Unlike previous versions of the malware, ExpensiveWall uses an advanced obfuscation technique to evade the anti-malware protections that Google has built into Play, the researchers said. It derives its name from one of the apps it uses to infect devices called Lovely Wallpaper. The malware can easily be tweaked to carry out more risky tasks such as stealing data from the victim's phone or to spy on them.
According to the experts, Google has missed some warnings about the malware infection published by users who have downloaded the applications.
In order to improve security Google added to their mobile Play Store an antivirus which is always on in order to protect users from malware by scanning all the apps which have been uploaded to Play Store.
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