The recent scandals have led people to be more careful in their online dealings but a lot of them still fall prey to malware. One such source of Malware is none other than the trusted Google Play. A report from SophosLabs last Friday revealed that seven QR code reader apps and one smart compass app contained malicious programs.
This malware is titled “Andr/HiddnAd-AJ”. As you might have guessed from the name, it bombards your smartphone with various kinds of ads. It opens ads on web pages and even the notifications have links to ads. The unsuspecting user does not know what is happening as the malware is inert for the first six hours after installation and only activates after the six hours are up.
The report says that these apps have been downloaded 500,000 times and the users who tried the app and deleted the app before six hours were up would not have noticed anything but those that kept the app were in for a nasty surprise.
These apps have now been removed from the Play Store and it is said that the hostile codes were hidden in such a way that they were able to breach the Google’s scanning. The files were organized and named the same ways as normal Android app codes.
Google needs to learn from this incident and tighten the security that Google Play is known to provide. It provides much better security that third-party marketplaces but there is always room for improvement.
As according to Sophos, “Many off-market Android app repositories have no checks at all – they’re open to anyone, which can be handy if you’re looking for unusual or highly specialized apps that wouldn’t make it onto Google Play (or trying to publish unconventional content)”.
If you have any of these apps, be sure to remove them right away.