The Google Play Store is swamped with malware-infested Android apps, a new study reveals. According to the researchers, more than 2000 fake applications available on the shop actually hide a dangerous malware.
For two years, researchers at the University of Sydney and CSIRO’s Data61, an Australian cybersecurity firm, examined the code of a million Android apps on the Google Play Store, report our colleagues at The Next Web.
In the course of their investigation, the experts identified 49,608 ” potential threats”. Among the apps listed under this heading are fake apps that only steal your personal data, such as games Temple Run, Free Flow and Hill Climb Racing.
2040 Android Apps Available on The Play Store Are Infested with Malware
The study also found 2040 applications infected with malware. In most cases, these are copies of popular applications.
To fool Internet users, pirates offer an application that looks very similar, whether in description, name or logo, to a known title.
There are many variations of Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Youtube or Skype. To attract victims, hackers also highlight additional features that are not included in the official application. This was also the case for most applications infested by Android BeiTaAd malware.
“Many problematic applications have gone unnoticed and bypassed the Play Store’s automated validation processes,” warns Dr. Suranga Seneviratne, co-author of the study.
Once again, the Play Protect has proved ineffective. The report does not reveal the names of the infected applications.
Since the end of the study, however, more than 26% of the applications identified have been removed from the Play Store after user complaints.
“A large number of counterfeits can be directly identified once installed,” the study says. As always, you will be advised to be careful when downloading an application from the Play Store. First of all, take a look at the developer’s name and user comments.