Sunday, 24 March, 2019

The Android Antivirus App You're Using Maybe a Fraud

Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games Android Q will break clipboard manager apps
Emmett Howard | 16 March, 2019, 23:42

Have you been considering getting yourself an antivirus app for your smartphone lately?

Researchers have found an adware in 206 Android apps that have 150 million downloads at the Google Play Store. The adware became quite popular, as more and more developers opted to include the code in their apps, which were then offered on the Play Store. Chances are that hasn't happened, and the apps you use work the same as they would on a phone with another version of Android.

About two-thirds of antivirus apps on Android are nothing but a sham, a latest study has discovered.

Android Q gives users more control over when apps can get location data with the ability for users to give apps permission to see their location never, only when the app is in use (running), or all the time (when in the background).

SimBad got its name from how it lurks behind a lot of simulator games which it has managed to infect, likely because it tricked app developers into using the malicious SDK which posed as a legitimate advert serving platform.

Check Point also provided the list of infected apps to Google which were later taken down from Google Play.

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A seperate group of 32 apps were later pulled from the Google Play Store during the testing process. As per a blog dedicated to Android developers, Google has revealed that all icons of apps will now have a "squircle" shape. They automated the device, directing it to download and install known malware apps from the browser.

This change is meant to prevent apps from copying, say, passwords or other sensitive data without user knowledge.

"Most of the above apps, as well as the risky apps already mentioned, appear to have been developed either by amateur programmers or by software manufacturers that are not focused on the security business", the AV-Comparatives staff said.

These apps even detected themselves as malicious. For example, an app that automatically tracks the mileage you drive for tax filing, without requiring you to interact with the app. Similarly, one should not rely on the reviews either as some developers may also fake them.

According to an analyst, there are more snake-oilers in the Android app market than serious cyber-security vendors.

Some apps or features within an app may only need location while the app is being used. While some Android fans might be disappointed to find out that the new update doesn't come with any new and exciting features, they should know that software tweaks are equally important.

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