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21 million users fall victim to second Google Android malware attack

17 September 2017

More than 50 apps on Google Play Store were found to be malicious software that would send text messages with premium offers in order to charge people for services which turned out to be fake. And this has the same modus operandi!

Security experts have discovered premium SMS Android malware lurking in legitimate looking apps on Google Play, which have been downloaded over four million times.

Here's how ExpensiveWall infiltrate and skim mobile device owner's money?

According to Check Point, it is a "new variant of Android malware that sends fraudulent premium SMS messages and charges for fake services to users' accounts without their knowledge".

The malware family uses a common obfuscation technique known as packing that enables apps to hide their maliciousness from Google's scanners by compressing or encrypting the executable file before it's uploaded to Play Store.

After it is installed and granted the necessary permissions, ExpensiveWall sends data about the infected device to its C&C server, including its location and unique identifiers, such as MAC and IP addresses, IMSI, and IMEI.

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And once the hackers get any sensitive information, they can use it to blackmail the user. If a user downloads the malware, it requests permissions commonly associated with other applications such as permission for Internet access and SMS permissions.

A few of the apps which were infected with malware are "Lovely Wallpaper", "I Love Filter", "Tool Box Pro,"Horoscope", "Beautiful Camera", "DIY Your Screen", "Wifi Booster", a lot of them being related to either Camera, Photos, Weather, Wallpapers, and Lock Apps".

Always keep to your smartphone updated with the latest firmware.

Researchers Check Point discovered the malware outbreak, which targeted Google's Android OS and Play Store. Check Point has shared the complete list of infected apps in today's report (shared below).

The apps containing ExpensiveWall have been removed from Play Store but anyone who has downloaded them already will need to remove the app from their device themselves. And this is because this month they've been dealing with over 50 apps that were infested with malware. That app is called "Lovely Wallpaper" and if you ever downloaded it, you do not have any of our sympathies. Also, take caution before agreeing to permissions when you download a new app, and look for anything that is out of ordinary.

21 million users fall victim to second Google Android malware attack