Android users? Please note: 150 apps that were available in Google’s Play App Store were found to be particularly dangerous and behave like Trojans, according to a study by Zimperium, a company that secures information in the field of smartphones.
Behind the malicious applications is GriftHorse, an attack group that has been focusing on Android apps and has been active since November 2020. On the face of it, the identified apps have provided users with legitimate services – like photo editing, health and fitness, document translation and call recorder.
For example, the most popular malicious app is Handy Translator Pro, which has reached more than a million downloads. Another application identified by the researchers is called Heart Rate and Pulse Tracke and has been installed about 500,000 times.
How did the method work? The campaign reached millions of users in more than 70 countries, with behind.the.scenes apps signing up for premium services without the users’ knowledge and consent – and even stealing more information from the device. According to Zimperium, the total amount stolen could reach hundreds of millions of euros. In total, about 10 million users were affected.