June 24, 2018

'ExpensiveWall' Malware Charged Android Users for Bogus Services

17 September 2017, 03:44 | Kevin Scott

This app is one of many fake apps removed from the Google Play Store Check Point said. Check Point

This app is one of many fake apps removed from the Google Play Store Check Point said.                  Check Point

It's unclear will the new change actually increase the amount of players using the mobile app but at least the apps are now freely downloadable from the Google Play Store in the mentioned countries. And this has the same modus operandi!

This month there's been a malware outbreak on Android due to infected apps which were found in Google Play Store.

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

The malware known as ExpensiveWall, which has affected apps that have been downloaded by millions of users, uses excessive permissions to sign users up for premium services without their knowledge.

"What makes ExpensiveWall different than its other family members is that it is "packed" - an advanced obfuscation technique used by malware developers to encrypt malicious code - allowing it to evade Google Play's built-in anti-malware protections", Check Point notes on its blog.

It is believed that a modified version of malware could steal even more of users' personal data.

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"While ExpensiveWall is now designed only to generate profit from its victims, a similar malware could be easily modified to use the same infrastructure in order to capture pictures, record audio, and even steal sensitive data and send the data to a command and control (C&C) server", added the firm in case we weren't anxious enough. Users should remain careful about what apps they are downloading on their devices. Google's recently announced Play Protect should also be able to remove malicious apps from infected devices, but that might not happen on older versions of Android or on those where users have disabled Play Protect protection.

Always keep to your smartphone updated with the latest firmware. Check Point has shared the complete list of infected apps in today's report (shared below).

Google did not respond immediately to a request seeking comment on whether the company had notified Play customers who had downloaded the malware to urge them to uninstall the malware.

Research firm Check Point has identified as many as 50 malicious apps on Google Play that charge premium fees to its users without their knowledge for fake services.

Fortunately, reviewers that installed those apps left negative reviews with messages such as "Spam app", "Scam", "Virus detected", "It is NOTHING like the ad on Instagram" and this might have prevented others to install them. The malware can easily be tweaked to carry out more unsafe tasks such as stealing data from the victim's phone or to spy on them. That app is called "Lovely Wallpaper" and if you ever downloaded it, you do not have any of our sympathies.

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