Android Apps

A dozen of malicious Android apps have been discovered in the period from early September to late October 2018 on Google Play Store and all Android users are advised to be on high alert so as not to be victims.

The Android Operating System is the most used mobile OS globally, currently, more than 2 billion Android devices are running the OS every month.

Android OS, being an Open Source, this means Android Developers can create content or Apps, add them to the Google Play Store and these Developers has been posing a serious threat to users by loading dangerous Android apps on to the play store.

One could wonder why Google allow these malicious Apps into the Play Store in the first place, Google has been trailing on the way it scrutinizes new apps, unlike IOS, Google is not that thorough on the way it verifies apps that enters the Play store, this had led some malicious apps finding their way into the app store

Google Play store has millions of Android apps that can be downloaded for free. Besides apps, it also has games and movies.

However, all Android fans are being warned after a cybercriminal or a group of cybercriminals has loaded 29 banking Trojans apps that are capable of stealing users money.

The security experts at ESET has discovered banking Trojans on the Google Play Store, disguised to be mobile device boosters, device cleaners, horoscope apps, and battery savers.



So what happens after you install the apps?

After you download and install these Apps, they can intercept, text messages and calls on the affected mobile device, thus enabling the attacker to receive and send messages from the affected device.

What this will mean is, the malicious apps will have no boundaries, the Two-Factor Authentication protocol, that can protect the affected mobile device in such cases, will be bypassed.

The dangerous part is, these banking Trojans can download any App or impersonate any of the applications on the target device. So be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure you are secure.

Click here to see the whole list of all the Trojan banking apps discovered in this research, check out to see if you didn’t install any one of the apps

Cybercrime has almost doubled from 2017 and the trend is on an ever-upward trajectory. In my previous article, I wrote about best practices on the internet to protect yourself from hackers. You can read the full article here. We are living in the mobile age, everything is mobile, so its very important to know what you should do when on the internet, I encourage you to take your time to read the article, it worth your time.

Stay safe by following these steps

Bank security

ESET, in its report, pointed out some steps you can take to stay safe when downloading applications from Google Play Store. Below are some of them;

(a) The first thing, if you are suspecting a certain app on your phone to be malicious, don’t hesitate to remove it. Remove it by going to Settings>>General setting>Application Manager

(b) Before downloading App from Google Play Store, check permissions you are giving it. Don’t allow any App to access your banking details except for the ones you trust. To see the permissions you are giving an app, Settings>>Application Manager>>select the app you want to check>> scroll down to permissions

(b) When downloading from Google Play, ensure you check other users reviews and ratings. You can always see whether it worth it from those reviews. Again, it is also important to check the number of downloads, more downloads mean its credibility but this is not always true in other cases because the download could have happened before the app was discovered off its malicious activities. So you need to check ratings, downloads, and reviews as well.

(c) Make sure you check your Bank for any suspicious activities and regularly change your bank password.

ESET also advised all Android users to download applications from Google Play Store where such apps, if seen are instantly removed contrary to third-party sites where they are not removed.

Related;

He likes to play with the latest phones, gaming consoles, PCs, laptops and when he gets some spare time he likes to do VFX stuff. You can always find him playing with tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc. His current gear is Galaxy Note 9+

12 Replies to “Warning! Dangerous Android Apps on Google Play store that can steal your money”

  1. I am on my toes now, more than ever since reading your article.

    I have an Android Tablet and I am aware of the possibilities that you can catch a virus or a malware when downloading certain apps. However, I wasn’t aware of that this is such more of a problem as I thought.

    I certainly will check my tablet to make sure I don’t fall prey to any of this .Luckily so far I don’t do my banking on any of my Mobile devices, just call me old fashioned. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this information!

    1. You are probably safe if you don’t use any app for banking but the probability is, since these apps can intercept your calls and text, they can gather as much information as possible to find details.

       Even if you don’t have any app, still these malicious apps can impersonate other apps on your devise and those impersonated apps can extract any information they want from.

       By impersonating, it mean they can use those apps on your phone that you trust to do the whole task for them.

      So my advise is always to check for these apps and remove the once you suspect.

       

  2. Good afternoon Ngonidzashe,

    Oh, dear me. Good that you wrote this post as a warning to all Android apps users. I must admit I am not very technical so I had no idea. 

    You are telling me that Google has not been very effective on a security level, I wonder what they are doing. Is it not their duty to protect their customers? Just imagine you download one or more of these Trojans, a real disaster.

    This modern world is full of unknown dangers that is why posts like yours are so important.

    Regards, Taetske

  3. Olonisakin Kehinde says:

    Bro I love your posts on cyber security.  This one is an eye opener.  Waoo so it is not all the app in playstore that are good? So things have moved from spying on one’s privacy to being able to steal from your bank??  This is really bad.  I think one should always be mindful of the app to download from play store and grant permission to only apps you trust. 

    Thank you for this post.  Please give more updates on cyber security. 

    1. You are welcome, its my pleasure to help other people. The digital world has been characterized by ever-increasing cybercrimes and its always advisable to be watchful of any suspicious activities, whether on your phone or PC. Stay safe  

  4. Madeleine says:

    Whew! I did not know a lot of this about apps. We were hacked recently through my Apple phone, many thousands of dollars were charged to our credit card on file with our Apple phone. It appeared that my password had been used. After reading your article, I wonder if the hackers got in through one of the free apps that I have downloaded. I never pay for an app by the way. If it’s not free, I don’t bother. I am going to bookmark this article, so I can refer back to it when I need more information. After many hours with the credit card company and with Apple, my husband and I got all the charges reversed and got a new credit card. It was a frightening and maddening experience. 

  5. Emmanuel Buysse says:

    Great post and good info.

    Honestly, I would never download a battery saver, or something like that, because it already sounds suspicious.

    Yet you have many people who are downloading it, and that is where these hackers are waiting for, for tese kind of people, who don’t know it.

    I will share your post because this is important.

  6. Do you know if your Android smart phone is safe from cyber-criminals. An in depth look at some of the programs in the Google apps store thay may not be all they seem to be. There seems to be quite a long list of unsafe apps.

    All though I have a smart phone I am looking to going back to a phone only rather than become a victim of these apps.

    Derek

  7. Hi and thank you for a very useful review. These apps are becoming the latest bunch of scams that hit our lives. I think there really needs to be far better security from the big smart phone companies to crack down on this. But in the meantime you have at least given some great pointers that will hopefully stop some people getting scammed. Thanks, Kenny 

  8. Wow this is a little bit worrying – apps from the actual Google Play store that can actually take your money!

    One has to wonder how a superpower like Google has managed to miss this in the first place? Are these a new kind of virus trojans, it that why they were so hard to detect?

    1. This has been happening  all the time, I think Google needs to up its game to protect its users

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