Play Store apps caught spreading Android malware to millions

Play Store apps caught spreading Android malware to millions

The apps were loaded with information-stealing malware that could extract victims’ Facebook credentials and download other software, etc.

According to researchers at Dr. Web, at least a dozen mobile apps in the Google Play Store contain malware, adware, and other types of malware that steal information. Most of the apps are Android-based and have a total of over 2 million downloads. Based on the app reviews, users are not so happy with these apps due to their shady functionality.

Details of malicious apps

Researchers noted that five infected apps were available for download on the Play Store. These include:

  1. Background for wild and exotic animals: It contains adware that replaces its name with SIM Tool Kit soon after download. It has 500,000 downloads so far.
  2. PIP Pic Camera Photo Editor– This app appears as a photo editor, but in reality it steals the Facebook credentials of the users. This app has over 100,000 downloads.
  3. ZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder- This is another malicious app designed to steal Facebook credentials. It has 500,000 downloads.
  4. PIP camera 2022– This app shows off various camera effects, but actually steals your Facebook profile information. Around 50,000 users have downloaded it.
  5. Magnifying light: This malicious app contains adware and has around 10,000 downloads.

According to Dr.Web’s report, researchers identified four more malicious apps that are no longer available on the platform. The apps included a racing game, an app that offers recovery of deleted photos, a government compensation app for Russians and an app for free access to OnlyFans.

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Although these apps are no longer available to the general public, the risk to users who have already downloaded them cannot be overlooked. The worrying aspect is that the malicious apps can steal data from other apps installed on your phone.

Play Store apps caught spreading Android malware to millions
Malicious apps pointed out by Dr.Web


At the time this article was published, all apps highlighted by Dr. Web were removed from the Google Play Store. However, the lesson for smartphone users is that they must not download unnecessary apps from official or third-party app stores.

Also, always read reviews and feedback in the app’s review section. Although some reviews may be fake or published by developers to promote their app, primarily the review section plays an important role in keeping users safe by avoiding downloading malicious apps.

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