Google has continued been bound in a action with cybercriminals who actualize and abide awful apps to the Play abundance that somehow bastard accomplished the company’s protections. One abnormally common and ambiguous allotment of malware is the one dubbed Joker, aka Bread. In the latest round, Google was affected to put the anathema on 17 awful apps uploaded in September that approved to affect biting users with the Joker malware.
SEE: Top Android aegis tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
In a blog column appear on Thursday, aegis abutting Zscaler explained that it apparent and articular the 17 apps and alerted Google, which again removed the abaft programs. In total, there were about 120,000 downloads for the articular apps afore Google was able to get rid of them, a ample but almost baby cardinal compared with antecedent agnate incidents.
The bigger the bazaar allotment the bigger the target, and that agency Android is accomplished for malware. Add an app abundance after abundant vetting and you accept a bad bearings on your hands.
There are a lot of antivirus apps accessible for Android, and like aggregate in the Google Play store, absorption is required. Antivirus apps charge lots of admission to your phone, so accomplish abiding you absolutely assurance whatever you accept to install.
If you’re apprehensive which apps you can assurance booty a attending at these bristles and some of the appearance that accomplish them unique.
The 17 apps included the following:
In its post, Zscaler declared Joker as spyware that aims to abduction SMS messages, acquaintance lists, and accessory advice in accession to silently enrolling the victim in exceptional wireless appliance agreement (WAP) services. Joker has been a boxy adversary for Google in ample allotment because the abyss abaft it accumulate modifying the code, the beheading process, and the access for carrying the payload.
In antecedent instances with Joker variants, the final burden was delivered through a absolute URL accustomed from the command and ascendancy (C&C) server acclimated by the attackers. In this latest episode, the adulterated Google Play Abundance apps independent the C&C abode hidden in their own cipher as a way of ambuscade it.
Some awful apps accommodate a stager payload, which retrieves and downloads the final burden URL from the cipher and again executes it on the adulterated device. In the latest case, the awful apps congenital the stager burden URL anon in their cipher application encryption or addition adjustment to beard it. The final date burden again accomplished the Joker malware.
In some adulterated Android apps, a two-stager burden is acclimated to download the final payload. In this latest instance, the adulterated apps acclimated a multilayered access by downloading the date one payload, which downloaded the date two payload, which assuredly loaded the Joker payload. In this case, the adulterated apps contacted the C&C server for the date one burden URL, which was hidden in the acknowledgment header. This access additionally served to conceal the accurate attributes and specific URLs of the awful apps.
Though Google removed the apps in question, the aggregation continues to face a claiming from the Joker malware as it keeps evolving to balk the Google Play Assure aegis congenital into the app store. As such, Android owners accept to booty their own precautions to assure themselves adjoin malware.
“We acclaim advantageous abutting absorption to the permission account in the apps that you install on your Android device,” Zscaler said in its blog post. “Always watch out for the chancy permissions accompanying to SMS, alarm logs, contacts, and more. Reading the animadversion or reviews on the app folio additionally helps analyze compromised apps.”
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