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100-plus malicious Android apps found on Google Play Store: How to stay safe

Last week researchers found out that there are about 145 apps on Google Play Store for Android that are infected by malicious Microsoft Windows executable files.

These files do not pose any threat to the Android device directly but if they’re to be unpacked on a Windows system, then it will compromise the security of that machine.

The researchers at Palo Alto Networks have found out that these infected APK files can only mean that the developers are creating these apps on a Windows system infected with a host of malware.

Most of the infected apps were found to be released on Google between October-November 2017, which has given them ample time to be downloaded by a few thousand users.

Also read: Ransomware vs Malware vs Spyware

How does this malware harm you?

The researchers found out that one of the malware files, which infected a majority of Android apps is a keylogger.

“On a Windows system, this keylogger attempts to log keystrokes, which can include sensitive information like credit card numbers, social security numbers and passwords. Besides, these files fake their names to make their appearance look legitimate. Such names include Android.exe, my music.exe, COPY_DOKKEP.exe, js.exe, gallery.exe, images.exe, msn.exe and css.exe.”

According to researchers at Palo Alto Networks, if the infected APK files are executed on a Windows system, the following can happen:

  • Creates executable and hidden files in Windows system folders, including copying itself
  • Changes Windows registry to auto-start themselves after restarting
  • Attempts to sleep for a long period
  • Has suspicious network connection activities to IP address 87.98.185.184 via port 8829

Also read: How to control your Android smartphone via PC

Which apps are infected and what can I do?

These apps were removed by Google after the security researchers pointed it out, however, if you’ve installed them, it’s recommended that you uninstall them from your smartphone immediately to avoid compromising the security of any Windows device that may be synced with the smartphone.

Source: Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto has suggested that these 43 application APKs contained malicious files:

  • Baby Room
  • Motor Trail
  • Tattoo Name
  • Car Garage
  • Japanese Garden
  • Koi Fish
  • House Terrace
  • Skirt Design
  • Yoga Meditation
  • Shoe Rack
  • Unique T-shirt
  • Mens Shoes
  • TV RuanG TaMu
  • Idea Glasses
  • Fashion Muslim
  • Bracelet
  • Clothing Drawing
  • Minimalist Kitchen
  • Nail Art
  • Ice Cream Stick
  • Roof
  • Children Clothes
  • Home Ceiling
  • PoLa BaJu
  • Living Room
  • Bookshelf
  • Knitted Baby
  • Hair Paint
  • Wall Decoration
  • Painting Mahendi
  • Bodybuilder
  • Couple shirts
  • Unique Graffiti
  • Paper flower
  • Night gown
  • Wardrobe ideas
  • Dining table
  • Gymnastics
  • Use Child
  • Window Design
  • Hijab Style
  • Wing Chun
  • Fencing Technique

Also read: How to use your Android as a secondary screen for your Windows PC?

 

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