Security Experts Discovered Dozens of Malicious Apps on Google Play Store

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( – Zscaler security experts recently announced that they discovered that the Google Play Store had over 90 malicious apps. According to their findings, the apps in question were installed over 5.5 million times. 

A Google spokesperson told Nexstar that Google Play is committed to ensuring user security and that since the apps were identified, all of them have been removed. 

Zscaler ThreatLabz noted that for those Android users who had downloaded the apps previously, there is one malware that is especially dangerous, known as Teabot or Anatsa malware. This malware was created to gain access to people’s banking information from different financial applications.

According to the ThreatLabz analysis, the Anatsa attack campaigns would usually be hidden in practical tools like QR code readers or PDF readers. After installation, the apps avoided detection while getting access to personal financial information through updates that appeared to be legitimate.

Zscaler did not make the full list of apps available. However, it did note that two dangerous apps, QR Reader & File Manager and PDF Reader & File Manager, had been installed more than 70,000 times. 

Zscaler pointed out that these types of apps will try to get a lot of people to install so that other potential victims are more likely to believe the apps are safe and legitimate.

Often, the types of apps exploited are tools, or apps for productivity, personalization, photography, and health & fitness. Apps that fall into popular categories on the Play Store are reportedly more likely to blend in. The analysis also stated that some tell-tale signs can include high-data usage, poor reviews, odd descriptions, and small download numbers. 

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