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
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.