Android Police

Articles Tagged:

malware

20

Malicious COVID-19 tracking app infects your phone with ransomware (Update: Decryption key)

As if the COVID-19 outbreak itself wasn't bad enough, there are also criminals exploiting people looking for guidance in this time of fear and misinformation. A malicious Android app has popped up that promises to help you track coronavirus cases near you and globally, but it's just a scheme to get some ransomware on your phone.

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5

Gmail got slightly better at blocking malicious Office documents

Gmail's spam and malware filters are among the best in the industry and block 99.9% of threats from reaching inboxes, according to Google. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, as 0.1% can scale up to quite a substantial absolute number considering Gmail's big user base. Google has identified that malware in attachments (Office documents, in particular) tends to be dangerous due to its ever-changing nature, so it has developed an improved malware scanner that utilizes machine learning to stay ahead of the curve.

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47

Microsoft Defender antivirus is coming to Android

Windows is very far from a perfect operating system, but it's hard to complain about the built-in Defender antivirus. It generally doesn't disrupt the user experience, works well, and has largely eliminated the need for third-party antivirus programs on Windows PCs. Now Microsoft wants to bring Defender to... Android?

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0

Google prevented 1.9 billion Android malware installs in 2019, still has a long way to go

With recent scam apps incidents in mind, it might look like Google isn't very good at keeping malware and fraud out of the Play Store, but the company is hard at work to allow as little in as possible. It has shared today that thanks to security advancements, it could keep more than 790,000 policy-violating apps from entering the Play Store, and has also prevented more than 1.9 billion malware installs from sources outside of its distribution platform in 2019.

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20

The top free app on the UK Play Store is scamming users into paid subscriptions (Updated)

Google isn't good at keeping malware out of the Play Store. Even though the company has announced an App Defense Alliance to strengthen its Play Protect Scanner, a few scam apps have once again managed to slip through and are ripping off unsuspecting UK Android users. Some of the applications are currently among the top free apps on the UK Play Store and promise movie streaming at no cost, but sign up users for a subscription service via their phone bill.

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12

Malicious third-party SDKs obtained personal data from millions of Twitter and Facebook users on Android

Twitter and Facebook have both been targeted by malicious mobile SDKs on Android that accessed personal data, such as email addresses and user names. The companies have since informed Google about the issue, and Facebook sent cease and desist letters to the data collection firms behind the SDKs, oneAudience and MobiBurn.

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4

Google announces App Defense Alliance, brings three security companies on board to fight bad apps

Google has always maintained that its own Play Store security mechanisms were strong enough to keep your devices safe from malware and other bad actors, but this was proven wrong again and again and again. Thus it makes sense that the company has announced the App Defense Alliance, a partnership with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium that aims to stop bad apps before they can reach anyone's Android devices.

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12

[Update: Rogue third-party SDK removed] Snaptube caught with ad click fraud scheme and unwanted subscription signups

There are a plethora of Android apps that allow you to download videos and music files from popular websites such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Since doing that isn't exactly legal or sanctioned by Google, these applications live completely outside the Play Store, which means they lack any substantial malware protection. Some apps take advantage of this, and popular third-party downloader Snaptube turns out to be one of those. Security platform Secure-D has found evidence of fraudulent advertisement clicks in the background and unwanted, automatically created subscriptions which the owner of the phone has to pay for.

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39

[Update: Back in Play Store] CamScanner fell victim to rogue ad network, hopes to be back in the Play Store soon

CamScanner recently had to leave the Play Store after security researchers found that it distributed malware between June and July this year. Today, its developer released a statement saying that it fell victim to an advertisement SDK provided by AdHub that loaded the malicious module into its product. It has since cut ties with the network and removed the malware.

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5

Play Store bug bounty program expands to all apps with 100 million+ downloads

Google has a plethora of bug bounty programs that help it stay on top of black hat hackers. To keep incentives high, the company is constantly tweaking these programs' general frameworks and has recently increased Chrome's vulnerability rewards. Today, Google announced an expansion of its bug bounty system on Google Play to include all apps with 100 million downloads or more. It also introduced privacy-focused rewards for researchers identifying data abuse issues in apps.

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