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Google Pulls Out 13 Apps from the Android App Store

As per a media report, Google has pulled out 13 apps from the Android App store. This came to light when a security researcher from ESET tweeted about the same. His tweet highlighted these apps as being listed under the same developer Luiz Pinto and also mentioned that it was downloaded more than 560,000 times.

These malicious apps disguised as games, which included truck stimulators, fire trucks, and luxury cars among others. None of these apps worked as whenever it was launched by a user, it crashed. Despite that, it was reportedly listed under the trending section. The researcher also cited that these apps, once downloaded, would hide themselves and their icons after being launched. Over one million Android users have been affected with the malware download.

This is not the first time that the Android App Store has been affected by malware apps. Earlier this year, people were caught in frenzy over an announcement by experts that 100 apps on Google Android App store were filled with malware. These apps too had a popular 4 star rating and above 1000 installations. Following this, two months later, a nefarious spyware called the triout had spread from the very malicious apps on app store, which recorded calls, messages, and stole personal images or videos of the victim.  

The report briefly mentions about the infamous auto-clicking adware, Judy, which affected 8.5 million and 36.5 million Android devices. But with time, these malware keep getting notorious and it has left a questionable impression on the users. As per Norton.in, several apps on Google Play Store have malicious apps known as Dresscode, which infiltrate network and steal data. It is also known to connect the host device to a botnet, which carries out attack and sends spam mails. However, with strict security policies, Google has been aggressive and removed over 70,0000 malicious apps from its play store.

Over 900 Million Android phones powered by Qualcomm are affected with Quadrooter Flaw

Quadrooter Flaw is the set of four vulnerabilities which are affecting Android phones that are running on Qualcomm chipsets. On using any of these four vulnerabilities, the attacker can exploit a device and gaining the root access to the user’s phone.

According to the reports there are more than 900 million Android devices which are running on these Qualcomm chipsets. Qualcomm has recently launched Snapdragon 821 which is 10% more powerful than the 820.

Now there are lots of devices and all these are affected with the “High” risk privilege escalation vulnerabilities. With this, it will become easy for the attackers to trick the users by installing the malicious application. If anyone of these flaws is successfully exploited then the attacker gains the access root of the device. This would provide the complete access to the affected device to the attacker. This includes all the data, hardware like camera and microphone.

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Check out some popular devices that are affected by the Quadrooter Flaw.

As we said earlier, the devices which are running on the Qualcomm Chipsets are vulnerable to this attack. Some of the devices are HTC’s One M9 and HTC 10, Google’s Nexus 6P, Nexus 6 and Nexus 5X, OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3, Samsung’s Latest smartphones Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. LG G4, LG G5, and LG V10. These are the smartphones those are named with the vulnerable to one or more of the flaws. Report says that there will be more, but as of now these are the confirmed ones.

The recent release of the smartphones from the Blackberry Dtek50, as the company says it is the most secure Android smartphone in the world, is also vulnerable to this. The Qualcomm’s spokesperson says that the chipmaker has fixed all of the flaws and had released the patches to the customer, partners and even to the open source communities.

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How to check for your phone:

The users who are worried about their phones can download the application from the Google Play Store called Quadrooter Scanner.

On installing this application, the users can scan their device and the results will be shown. This application will provide the details about if any vulnerabilities are there on the device.

10 million Android devices affected globally by Chinese Malware called ‘HummingBad’

Hackers are creating different kinds of Malware and Viruses to hack user’s digital data from their devices. They have chosen various paths for getting into one’s system. In a recent survey conducted by cyber security software maker Check Point found that more than 10 million Android devices across the globe had been infected with a malware termed as ‘HummingBad.’

Checkpoint had discovered this malware five months back in February 2016. Since then they have been tracking and released a detailed analysis of the threat. The numbers of attacks were escalating steadily and had a sharp hike in the middle of May.

They also said that the new malware was created by a team of Chinese cyber criminals under an advertising and analytics company called Yingmob, which is based in Beijing. The new malware had affected many Android devices and had a significant impact in countries like China, India and USA.

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In the recent reports, they stated that over one million Android devices are being affected in both India and China while 288,800 infected devices in the US and less than 100,000 devices were under attack in UK and Australia.

HummingBad malware enters into the devices through some websites and the process is called “drive-by download attack.” After a successful entry into the device, it sets up a rootkit on Android device by gaining full administrative control over it.

If the rooting method fails, a second component uses a fake system update notification, making users into granting system-level permissions to HummingBad.

According to the reports, it generates revenue of about $300,000 per month through forced app installs and fraudulent ad clicks. This kind of malware is a clear example of how the malware companies can support themselves without depending on others.

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Researchers stated that “Emboldened by this independence, Yingmob and groups like it can focus on honing their skill sets to take malware campaigns in entirely new directions, a trend Check Point researchers believe will escalate.”

The Israel-based Check Point in its analysis stated that Yingmob controls over 85 million devices and can access all sensitive data throughout the world. iPhone users aren’t safe from Yingmob either. Researchers have also found that the group is behind the Yispecter iOS malware.

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