More than 200 malicious apps have infiltrated the Google Play Store and have been downloaded more than 600 million times.
According to Gadget360, Google has long promoted the Play Store’s strong security rules with a commitment to stopping the download of malicious applications. However, Kaspersky recently said that Android users downloaded malware from the app store more than 600 million times in 2023.
Kaspersky’s report shows that malware developers have found new methods to bypass Google’s security checks, allowing them to put dangerous applications on the Play Store. The company has identified various types of infected content and apps that exist on the store, posing a major security threat to Android users.
Topping the malicious list are suspicious applications containing mini-game ads that collect data, with more than 451 million downloads. According to reports, a malware called SpinOk was found to infect more than 100 apps on the store this year.
The report also recorded more than 100 million downloads for apps infected with hidden ads and more than 35 million downloads for copies of the game Minecraft. The report states that 38 copies of Minecraft containing hidden adware were found on the Play Store.
Additionally, suspicious apps promising bonuses also achieved 20 million downloads. Mainly consisting of health tracking apps, with the lure of receiving attractive rewards for completing physical activity goals. The report also mentioned more than 40 apps infected with background adware that were downloaded 2.5 million times.
Two file management apps with a total of 1.5 million downloads were also found to collect user data. These spyware applications are said to have sent important user data such as contacts, location, photos, audio, and video to servers in China.
experts Kaspersky also detected applications infected with the Fleckpe trojan. When downloaded and run, they collect information about the country and mobile carrier. Then, automatically subscribe to paid services to withdraw the victim’s money.
In addition, the security company also noted more than 50,000 downloads of the iRecorder screen recording application on Android. Active on the store since 2021, it has malicious code that causes the app to record sound from the phone’s microphone every 15 minutes and send it to the developer’s server.