Call it a win for iPhone fanatics who swear by their device’s security over Android devices.
The Google Play store was found to be riddled with apps that are just waiting to infect your device with malware.
According to detection statistics collected by Dr Web’s antivirus products for the Android operating system, apps that display unwanted ads remained among the latest, most common threats.
“Banking Trojans and apps that facilitate spying on users were noticeably active. For example, Android device users again encountered the Android.Spy.4498 Trojan and its various modifications.
“This malicious program is capable of hijacking the contents of other apps’ notifications, which can cause leaks of confidential and sensitive data,” the cybersecurity company said.
Dr Web’s malware analysts recently discovered many new threats on Google Play, including malware, adware and unwanted software. Often these threats are disguised and known as Trojans.
The latest Trojans found among Google Play downloads were disguised as investing applications which claimed to have a direct relationship with Russian banks and commodity companies.
“They were also distributed as directories and survey programs. Scammers claimed — including through advertisements — that users could learn how to invest so that they would be able to make profitable investments and trade natural gas themselves and that they would even receive free stocks of the affiliated companies that allegedly back up all these services,” Dr Web said in a statement.
“In reality, such fake apps loaded specially crafted sites that were designed to get users to participate in dodgy surveys, register accounts and submit applications in order to collect their personal information.”
Google Play Protect
According to Google, the company’s Google Play Protect – turned on by default – is in place to help keep users’ apps safe and data private by checking your apps and devices for harmful behaviour.
Google Play Protect runs a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before they are downloaded or later warns users via notification if a threat is discovered.
However, despite periodically scanning devices for potentially harmful apps, malware still slips through safety measures in place by Google for Android devices.
It is recommended to check Play Protect notifications and that the service’s certification is up to date.
How to verify your Android device’s Play Protect certification status:
- Open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
- At the top right, tap the profile icon.
- Tap Settings.
- Under “About”, check if your device is Play Protect certified.