Malware-infused apps have been flooding the Google Play store for many years now. There have been several such incidents reported in the past, wherein personal details of users were compromised. Smartphone users, especially Android, must be careful in what kind of applications they are downloading on their mobile devices. In many instances, they are nothing more than malicious malware or spyware. Also Read - Best racing games on Android in 2022: Stylised arcade to fast pace racing sims
The latest incident is on similar lines. As per the latest report, researchers have discovered 12 Android apps on the Google Play store that steal users’ bank account details such as username, passwords, and much more. The worst thing is, these apps have been downloaded almost 30000 times in the last four months. Also Read - Here's how to share exact location using Plus Codes in Google Maps
As per researchers at ThreatFabric, these Android apps were mostly posing as QR code scanners and sometimes even cryptocurrency wallets. All these apps were designed primarily to steal bank account details and also two-factor authentication codes. Also Read - Indian govt plans to introduce iOS, Android-rival operating system: Check details
Researchers highlighted that all these apps were initially showcased as legitimate apps with no hints of malware or suspicion at any point in time. In fact, all these apps also had positive reviews on the Google Play store, which makes them look even more legitimate. Some of these apps were scanning apps, some crypto tracking apps, while others were workout/ fitness apps.
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Once users installed these apps, they were then asked to install software updates from third-party sources for additional features. These updates installed an advanced Android banking trojan called ‘Anatsa’ on mobile devices.
Reportedly, the Android trojan comes with capabilities that give hackers remote access to the user’s mobile device. With the access, scammers eventually wipe out bank account by transferring all the money to their account. In addition to Anatsa, these Android apps also had other malware including Alien, Hydra, and Ermac, suggested the report.
ThreatFabric further highlighted that these apps could have posed a much bigger threat, but the newly implemented Google Play restrictions, which put limitations on app permissions such as Accessibility Service, controlled the situation.