A total of 12 malicious Android apps in the Google Play Store are stealing people’s bank account details, and these apps have been downloaded 300,000 times, according to researchers at ThreatFabric. In a blog post, cybersecurity experts pointed out that such applications only introduce malware content from third-party sources after it has been downloaded from the Google Play Store.
The malicious Android applications on the Google Play Store identified by the researchers included QR Scanner, QR Scanner 2021, PDF Document Scanner Free, PDF Document Scanner, Two Factor Authenticator, Protection Guard, QR CreatorScanner, Master Scanner Live, CryptoTracker and Gym and Fitness Coach .
The researchers say that these applications are part of four families of malware – Anatsa, Alien, Hydra, Ermac – which are designed to steal users’ online banking passwords, as well as two-factor authentication codes. The malware captures exactly what you type and takes screenshots of users’ phones.
The Anatsa malware family, according to the report, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. It should be noted that such apps have positive reviews in the Google Play Store, which would make them look more legitimate.
While Google has tried to address the issue by introducing more restrictions to take advantage of the distribution of fraudulent applications. But what makes these apps difficult to detect is that they have a very small malicious footprint that is not detected by the Google Play Store.
“These apps attract users by providing additional content through such third-party updates. In some cases, it is said that malware operators have manually triggered malicious updates after tracking the geographical location of infected devices, “the researchers added.
Earlier in 2020, the Joker Trojan found its way to the Google Play Store, affecting users by subscribing to paid subscriptions without their consent.
However, there are steps you can take to prevent the unintentional installation of malware on your device. The most important thing in this case is to download an effective antivirus software that can scan every new application that is downloaded and monitor it for any suspicious activity.