In some unfortunate news, the Google Play Store is back with another mischievous duo hiding in its digital realm.A leading cybersecurity company named Pladio is the one who discovered this phenomenon. Upon detecting this illegal activity, Pradeo immediately alerted Google and the apps were removed from Google Play. Researchers at Pradeo have discovered that two malicious apps contain spyware and have been secretly sending Android users’ private data to servers in China. Here’s what we know so far, and what you can do if you download these apps to your device.
What are these applications? What did they do?
The two apps, posing as file management tools, garnered more than 1.5 million downloads in total.The names of the two applications are File Recovery and Data Recovery and file manager, Both are from the same developer. Each app is designed to be a way for Android users to help organize the files and data on their phones. The two apps also said that no data collection takes place under their supervision.
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Image Credit: Pladio
What are these malicious apps collecting and sharing with China?
The Pradeo report found that the apps actually collected vast amounts of private user information and shared it with China without people’s knowledge, including contact lists, media files, real-time location, mobile country codes, network provider details, SIM Provider network code, OS version, device make and model.
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The deceptive tactics of the hackers behind these two apps
Hackers behind these apps also artificially inflate their downloads by using install farms to make them appear trustworthy. By inflating download numbers, they create an illusion of trustworthiness, making it more likely that potential victims will install their app. Additionally, each app has advanced permissions that allow them to hide icons on the Android home screen, making uninstalling them even more difficult. This further helps hackers maintain a presence on the victim’s device, increasing the possibility of unauthorized access or malicious activity.
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Google’s response to apps in the Google Play Store
We reached out to Google for comment on two malicious apps found in the Google Play Store, and a Google spokesperson said:
“These apps have been removed from Google Play. Google Play Protect, through Google Play services, protects users from apps on Android devices known to contain this malware, even if they originate from sources other than Play. “
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What if I have these apps on my Android?
You can remove these applications yourself, but google play protector, It’s the built-in malware protection for Android devices that automatically removes known malware. But be aware that Google Play Protect may not be enough. Historically, it has not been 100% foolproof at removing all known malware from Android devices.
Install antivirus software on all your devices
If you have good antivirus software installed, you can keep hackers out of your device. Having antivirus software on your device will ensure that you cannot click on any potentially malicious links that could install malware on your device, allowing hackers to gain access to your personal information. Plus, it can notify you when there is malware on your device so you can start cleaning it right away.
See my expert reviews on the best antivirus protection for you Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices go to Cyberguy.com/LockUpYourTech.
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Image Credit: Pladio
How to uninstall apps on Android
Settings may vary depending on your Android phone manufacturer
- screw you set up application
- tap Apps and Notifications or just application
- tap view all applications
- scroll down and find The application you want to uninstall
- Click on the app, then click on uninstall
- beat OK
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How can I avoid this from happening in the future?
You should always be careful before downloading a new app to your phone, even if it comes from a legitimate source like Google Play Store or App Store.
This is one of the most important steps you can take before downloading an app. Before giving out your personal information, you need to make sure you understand exactly what permissions the app has, and make sure you read the reviews carefully too. Look for the specific content of these reviews, as sometimes hackers post generic fake reviews to make an app look legitimate when it really isn’t. It also doesn’t hurt to do some research on the app developers to see if they are legitimate.
Be skeptical about app cloning
Sometimes cybercriminals create fake or cloned versions of popular applications to trick you into downloading malware. Note the app name, developer name, and reviews to make sure you’re downloading the legitimate version.
trust your gut
If something doesn’t feel right with an app, trust your instincts. If an app looks suspicious, has poor reviews, or exhibits unexpected behavior, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid downloading or using it.
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Kurt’s key takeaways
Unfortunately, these hackers succeed in tricking innocent people into downloading these malicious apps, which is why we always have to be vigilant and research everything before downloading apps to our phones and tablets. Let’s stay vigilant and remember that a little preventative research can save us from the endless headaches these cunning hackers and their nefarious applications cause.
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What else can app stores do to prevent such malicious apps from sending our private data to foreign countries like China?Let us know by writing to us at Cyberguy.com/Contact
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