Bitdefender IT security specialists have recently identified over 30 dangerous Android applications, downloaded over two million times from the official Google Play Store magazine.
According to a Bitdefender press release, the applications changed their names and icons after being downloaded by users, making it difficult to recognize them. Additionally, they requested special permissions after installation so they could display advertisements above other running programs.
The applications discovered have accumulated millions of downloads, and the attackers have even developed new versions that allow them to be more effectively hidden on devices. The apps are hard to identify after installation but can be deleted like any other app if found. Although their main goal is to show ads, they will likely try to mimic user interaction and click on ads themselves. The same advertising system which attackers control can be used to promote much more dangerous cyber threat campaigns.Bitdefender, press release
Additionally, customers can follow several pieces of advice from Bitdefender experts:
- Especially when rights are requested that have nothing to do with the functionality of the application, be cautious when granting permissions to applications that are being installed (for example, access to the list of contacts);
- It does not mean everything is safe if an application is installed from the official stores. In this context, a security solution must be used that can detect abnormal behaviours and which scans each application upon installation or during the update process, paying particular attention to applications that require special permissions, such as Accessibility;
- Pay close attention to applications with few user ratings, especially if downloaded frequently;
Bitdefender users will soon have access to the new Bitdefender technology that examines an application’s behaviour after its installation.