Apps Infected With Malware Gathered Millions of Downloads via the Google Play Store

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Unfortunately, it’s possible to get malware-infected apps even from the Google Play Store. Even though the tech behemoth from Mountain View seems to be scanning for such malicious software pretty often, you know what they say that there’s no such thing as perfection in life.

Bleeping Computer now writes about the case of the Autolycos malware infecting a few apps in the Play Store. The worst part is that those apps have been downloaded more than 3 million times along with the malware attached to them. Maxime Ingrao, a security researcher, is the person who discovered the malware. Autolycos is very dangerous considering only the fact that it’s able to subscribe users to premium services without their knowledge. It’s obvious that in this way, such malicious software can steal a lot of money from the victim’s bank account.

At least 8 Android apps were infected

A minimum number of 8 apps from the Google Play Store were infected with the Autolycos malware. Here are the apps:

  • Vlog Star Video Editor ( 1 million downloads
  • Creative 3D Launcher (app.launcher.creative3d): 1 million downloads
  • Funny Camera’ by KellyTech: over 500,000 downloads
  • Razer Keyboard & Theme’ by rxcheldiolola: over 50,000 downloads
  • Wow Beauty Camera ( 100,000 downloads
  • Gif Emoji Keyboard (com.gif.emoji.keyboard): 100,000 downloads
  • Freeglow Camera 1.0.0 ( 5,000 downloads
  • Coco Camera v1.1 ( 1,000 downloads

Most of these apps are no longer available in the Play Store, as Google is known for taking down software that is infected with malware. However, the tech giant waited about six months to delete most of the aforementioned infected apps from the Play Store. Two of the apps remained in the official Android marketplace at the time the source article was written. Why is that? Ask Google, not us!

Ingrao said that he made the discovery back in June 2021. He also didn’t hesitate to report his findings to those from Google at the time.


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