Android Malware Infects Millions Of Users

  • Dubbed as “BadNews”
  • Ad framework for developers
  • Russian clone apps

Mobile Security firm Lookout announced yesterday that it has discovered a new family of malware distributed over Google Play.

  • Dubbed as “BadNews”
  • Ad framework for developers
  • Russian clone apps

Mobile Security firm Lookout announced yesterday that it has discovered a new family of malware distributed over Google Play.

The malware dubbed as “BadNews” was found to be hidden in 32 apps across four different developer accounts. It’s unclear exactly how many devices were affected but based on the number of installs statistics found on Google Play it is estimated that the number of affected users is in between 2-9 million.

The malware either fakes alerts encouraging users to download other infected apps, including an app called AlphaSMS, which hijacks the device and silently signs it up for premium SMS services OR sends a user’s phone number and unique device ID (IMEI) back to the malware’s source.

Majority of the apps that carry the malware were questionable Russian clone apps but since the bug masquerades itself as an ad framework for developers, it could happen that some of the apps were legitimate well-meaning apps and were just infected by the malware when its developers made a mistake to choose a bad ad provider.

Google has already pulled out the apps infected by the bug and encourages users to disable the “install from Unknown sources” option in their devices to prevent any unwarranted installations.

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