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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Search results for Google Play

Google Adds New Behavior-Based Malware Scanner To Every Android Device

Google Adds New Behavior-Based Malware Scanner To Every Android Device

May 20, 2017Mohit Kumar
In order to keep its billions of users safe, Google has introduced another security defense for its Android devices, called Google Play Protect . Google Play Protect , which is part of the Google Play Store app, uses machine learning and app usage analysis to weed out the dangerous and malicious apps, which have always been albatross around the tech giant's neck. Since Google Play Protect actually comes with the Google Play Store, users do not need to install or activate this security feature separately. Google Play Protect for Android devices consists: App scanning Anti-Theft Measures Browser Protection Play Protect's App Scanning Feature Google Play Protect is an always-on service on devices which said to scan 50 billion apps each day across a billion Android devices to ensure they are safe. Google already has a number of security measures in place to help keep your smartphones safe, including Verify Apps and its Bouncer service, but once apps are uploa
Google Gives Refund to Thousands of Buyers Who Bought Bogus Android AntiVirus App

Google Gives Refund to Thousands of Buyers Who Bought Bogus Android AntiVirus App

April 22, 2014Wang Wei
About a week back we reported about a popular paid Antivirus application on the Google Play Store which was actually a scam, dubbed as ' Virus Shield '. This First paid fake app managed to become one of the most popular anti-virus app in less than a week, and apparently more than 10,000 Smartphones users purchased it in $3.99 from Google Play Store and hence scammed more than $40,000. The Virus Shield Android App claimed to protect users' personal information from harmful viruses, malware and spyware, but in actual app doesn't scan anything and was removed from the store once the fraud had been uncovered. If you were one that had downloaded the Virus Shield Antivirus app , then don't worry, just check your email inbox, because Google cares about you and reaching out all those affected android users who purchased the app, in order to refund their money in full. REFUND WITH $5 BONUS CREDIT According to Android Police , Google has decided to refund $3.99 back to us
Yet Another Android Malware Infects Over 4.2 Million Google Play Store Users

Yet Another Android Malware Infects Over 4.2 Million Google Play Store Users

September 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Even after so many efforts by Google, malicious apps somehow managed to fool its Play Store's anti-malware protections and infect people with malicious software. The same happened once again when at least 50 apps managed to make its way onto Google Play Store and were successfully downloaded as many as 4.2 million times—one of the biggest malware outbreaks. Security firm Check Point on Thursday published a blog post revealing at least 50 Android apps that were free to download on official Play Store and were downloaded between 1 million and 4.2 million times before Google removed them. These Android apps come with hidden malware payload that secretly registers victims for paid online services, sends fraudulent premium text messages from victims' smartphones and leaves them to pay the bill—all without the knowledge or permission of users. Dubbed ExpensiveWall by Check Point researchers because it was found in the Lovely Wallpaper app, the malware comes hidden in fre
PlayDrone Reveals Secret Keys from Thousands of Play Store Android Apps

PlayDrone Reveals Secret Keys from Thousands of Play Store Android Apps

June 19, 2014Wang Wei
Google's Android Mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets have Google's own Play Store that provides its Android users the most visible way to access the world of millions of apps. App developers produce more than thousands of applications each year, but majority of newbie and unprofessional developers use unsafe, unreliable, and insecure coding practices, as many developers store secret keys in their apps that could potentially allow cybercriminals to steal users' sensitive data. A team of researchers from the computer science department of the Columbia University have discovered a critical security problem in the Google's official Android app store from where millions of Android users download various apps. Researchers have found that most of the Android application developers often store their secret keys in their app's code, similar to usernames/passwords information, which could be then used by any bad actor to maliciously steal users' information or r
More than 1,000 Spyware Apps Found On Android App Stores

More than 1,000 Spyware Apps Found On Android App Stores

August 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you think you are downloading apps from Google Play Store and you are secure, then watch out! Someone has managed to flood third-party app stores and Google Play Store with more than a thousand malicious apps, which can monitor almost anything a user does on their mobile device from silently recording calls to make outbound calls without the user's interaction. Dubbed SonicSpy , the spyware has been spreading aggressively across Android app stores since at least February and is being distributed by pretending itself to be a messaging app—and it actually offers a messaging service. SonicSpy Can Perform a Whole Lots of Malicious Tasks At the same time, the SonicSpy spyware apps perform various malicious tasks, including silently recording calls and audio from the microphone, hijacking the device's camera and snap photos, making outbound calls without the user's permission, and sending text messages to numbers chosen by the attacker. Besides this, the SonicSpy sp
Google Solves Update Issue for Android Apps Installed from Unknown Sources

Google Solves Update Issue for Android Apps Installed from Unknown Sources

June 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
If you are wondering how to receive latest updates for an Android app—installed via a 3rd party source or peer-to-peer app sharing—directly from Google Play Store. For security reasons, until now apps installed from third-party sources cannot be updated automatically over-the-air, as Google does not recognize them as Play Store apps and they do not show up in your Google account app list as well. Late last year, Google announced its plan to set up an automated mechanism to verify the authenticity of an app by adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each Android application package (in the APK Signing Block) distributed by its Play Store. This metadata is like a digital signature that would help your Android device to verify if the origin of an app you have installed from a third-party source is a Play Store app and have not been tempered, for example, a virus is not attached to it. From early 2018, Google has already started implementing this mechanism, which doesn
Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads

Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads

February 04, 2015Swati Khandelwal
With the rise in mobile market, last year we have seen sharp growth in malicious ' adware ' — the most prevalent mobile threat in the world. And now, security researchers have once again found Google Play Store offering malicious apps that are infecting millions of Android users with adware . It's not at all surprising that the Android operating system is surrounded by a number of unwanted intrusions that may gain users' attention to fall victim for one, but this issue might be even worse than we thought. WHAT IS ADWARE ? For those not familiar with adware, adware is a software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material like banners or pop-ups when a user is online. Doesn't sound dangerous, Right? But adware could result in a serious threat to users. Android Adware can pose a major threat to users' privacy, since some ad networks gather personal information like phone number, email address, and many more. Depending on where the ad netwo
Google Play Store Launches Bug Bounty Program to Protect Popular Android Apps

Google Play Store Launches Bug Bounty Program to Protect Popular Android Apps

October 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Better late than never. Google has finally launched a bug bounty program for Android apps on Google Play Store, inviting security researchers to find and report vulnerabilities in some of the most popular Android apps. Dubbed " Google Play Security Reward ," the bug bounty program offers security researchers to work directly with Android app developers to find and fix vulnerabilities in their apps, for which Google will pay $1000 in rewards. "The goal of the program is to further improve app security which will benefit developers, Android users, and the entire Google Play ecosystem," the technology giant says in a blog post published today. Google has collaborated with bug bounty platform, HackerOne, to manage backend for this program, like submitting reports and inviting white-hat hackers and researchers. White-hat hackers who wish to participate can submit their findings directly to the app developers. Once the security vulnerability has been resolved, th
Turkish Hacker Crashes Google Play Store Twice while testing vulnerability

Turkish Hacker Crashes Google Play Store Twice while testing vulnerability

March 18, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Last Weekend Google Play Store was crashed twice by a Turkish hacker when he tried to test vulnerability he discovered on the Android  apps  publishing system, known as Google's Developer Console . Turkish hacker ' Ibrahim Balic ' claimed responsibility for the Google Play Store attack and told ' The Hacker News ', he found a flaw in the Android operating system while working with Android tools i.e. Compiler, debugger on his Emulators, that was crashing again and again.  ' I successfully confirmed that it affects Android 4.2.2 , 4.3 and 2.3 ' he said. Then he created an Android app to exploit the vulnerability, ' causes a possible memory corruption '  and uploaded it to the Google's Developer Console. Unfortunately, OR Luckily the malformed Android app crashed whole Google's Developer Console, and he didn't expect that the app will knock everyone offline from Play Store. He was not sure about the outage caused by him or not,
Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

April 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Even after Google's security oversight over its already-huge Android ecosystem has evolved over the years, malware apps still keep coming back to Google Play Store. Sometimes just reposting an already detected malware app from a newly created Play Store account, or using other developers' existing accounts, is enough for 'bad-faith' developers to trick the Play Store into distributing unsafe apps to Android users. Since the mobile device platform is growing rapidly, every new effort Google makes apparently comes with trade-offs. For example, Google recently made some changes in its Play Store policies and added new restriction in Android APIs that now makes it mandatory for every new app to undergo rigorous security testing and review process before appearing in the Google Play Store. These efforts also include: restricting developers from abusing Android accessibility services, restricting apps access to certain permissions like call logs and SMS permi
Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

April 26, 2017Mohit Kumar
Initially thought to be 600,000 users, the number of Android users who have mistakenly downloaded and installed malware on their devices straight from Google Play Store has reached 2 Million. Yes, about 2 Million Android users have fallen victim to malware hidden in over 40 fake companion guide apps for popular mobile games, such as Pokémon Go and FIFA Mobile, on the official Google Play Store, according to security researchers from Check Point. Dubbed FalseGuide by the Check Point researchers, the malware creates a " silent botnet out of the infected devices " to deliver fraudulent mobile adware and generate ad revenue for cybercriminals. Nearly 2 Million Android Users Infected! While initially it was believed that the oldest instance of FalseGuide was uploaded to the Google Play in February and made its way onto over 600,000 devices within two months, further in-depth analysis by researchers revealed more infected apps which date back to November 2016. "
Hackers Can Remotely Install Malware Apps to Your Android Device

Hackers Can Remotely Install Malware Apps to Your Android Device

February 12, 2015Wang Wei
Security researchers have warned of a pair of vulnerabilities in the Google Play Store that could allow cyber crooks to install and launch malicious applications remotely on Android devices. Tod Beardsley, technical lead for the Metasploit Framework at Rapid7 warns that an X-Frame-Options (XFO) vulnerability – when combined with a recent Android WebView (Jelly Bean) flaw – creates a way for hackers to quietly install any arbitrary app from the Play store onto victims' device even without the users consent. USERS AFFECTED The vulnerability affects users running Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean and earlier versions of Android that no longer receive official security updates from Android security team for WebView , a core component used to render web pages on an Android device . Also, users who have installed third party browsers are affected. According to the researcher, the web browser in Android 4.3 and prior that are vulnerable to a Universal Cross-Site Scripting (
Password Stealing Apps With Over A Million Downloads Found On Google Play Store

Password Stealing Apps With Over A Million Downloads Found On Google Play Store

December 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Even after so many efforts by Google like launching bug bounty program and preventing apps from using Android accessibility services , malicious applications somehow manage to get into Play Store and infect people with malicious software. The same happened once again when security researchers discovered at least 85 applications in Google Play Store that were designed to steal credentials from users of Russian-based social network VK.com and were successfully downloaded millions of times. The most popular of all masqueraded as a gaming app with more than a million downloads. When this app was initially submitted in March 2017, it was just a gaming app without any malicious code, according to a blog post published Tuesday by Kaspersky Lab. However, after waiting for more than seven months, the malicious actors behind the app updated it with information-stealing capabilities in October 2017. Besides this gaming app, the Kaspersky researchers found 84 such apps on Google Play
Android Trojan Targeting Over 420 Banking Apps Worldwide Found On Google Play Store

Android Trojan Targeting Over 420 Banking Apps Worldwide Found On Google Play Store

April 13, 2017Wang Wei
Do you like watching funny videos online? I am not kind of a funny person, but I love watching funny videos clips online, and this is one of the best things that people can do in their spare time. But, beware if you have installed a funny video app from Google Play Store. A security researcher has discovered a new variant of the infamous Android banking Trojan hiding in apps under different names, such as Funny Videos 2017 , on Google Play Store. Niels Croese, the security researcher at Securify B.V firm, analyzed the Funny Videos app that has 1,000 to 5,000 installs and found that the app acts like any of the regular video applications on Play Store, but in the background, it targets victims from banks around the world. This newly discovered banking Trojan works like any other banking malware, but two things that makes it different from others are — its capability to target victims and use of DexProtector tool to obfuscate the app's code. Dubbed BankBot , the banking
Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Android App Submissions

Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Android App Submissions

March 18, 2015Mohit Kumar
Google has changed the way it managed apps on the Google Play Store . After years of depending on the automated app check process, the company just made some changes to its Play Store policies  that will successfully weed out malicious and undesirable apps from Google Play store. Google has introduced an update for developers and users that's sure to make some parents happy and some developers sad. The new features are — Better App Review Process Age-Based Rating System BETTER APP REVIEW PROCESS The search engine giant announced on Tuesday that it has started employing humans to review apps before they go live on the Google Play Store , a move intended to " better protect the community " and " improve the app catalog ." The new approach would definitely affect app developers, as they'll have to wait for their apps to be approved by Google after they submit them to the Play Store. But, it would keep users safe from harmful malware or offensive content.
First Paid Fake Android Antivirus App Downloaded 10,000 times from Google Play Store

First Paid Fake Android Antivirus App Downloaded 10,000 times from Google Play Store

April 07, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Well, we all are very conscious, when it comes to the security of our personal information, security of our financial data and security of everything related to us. In the world of Smart devices where our Smartphones knows more than we know ourselves. To keep our device protected from harmful viruses, malware or spyware, we totally depend on various security products such as antivirus, firewall and privacy guard apps, that we typically install from some trusted sources, Google Play Store. Most Antivirus apps are available to download for free, but some of them are paid with extra premium features like advance firewall protection, anti theft, App Locker or Cloud Backup etc. But do you believe that just because you're downloading an application from an official app store and also if its a premium paid version, you're safe from malicious software? Think twice. PAID, BUT FAKE ANTIVIRUS APP In Past, Mobile Security Researchers had spotted numerous fake mobile anti
Google bans Facebook and other self updating Android apps

Google bans Facebook and other self updating Android apps

April 26, 2013Mohit Kumar
Google just released a new Play Store version 4.0.27 that, contains only very minor tweaks and Google has changed the rules of its Google Play Store to put an end to the practice of developers updating their apps through their own means rather than the official Google Play channel. Shortly before the Facebook Home launch, some users noticed a new version of Facebook was available on their device, but it wasn't through the Play Store. Instead, the update came directly through the app, bypassing the Store altogether. Under the " Dangerous Products " section of the Google Play developer policies, Google now states that " an app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism. " Essentially this means that once an app is downloaded by an Android user it cannot contact home base and auto-update its own operating code. Instead, it has to use the off
8 Best Android Apps To Improve Privacy and Security

8 Best Android Apps To Improve Privacy and Security

April 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Just to have a good anti-virus protection app in your smartphone doesn't mean a complete Security. As Mobile Device Security is comprised of security of different features, such as: Data privacy and security features Permission restrictions for snoopy apps A blacklist for undesired calls An excellent backup capability, in case your smartphone gets deteriorated. As well as encryption functionality. Google's Android is a very flexible mobile operating system that can fulfill all these mobile device security challenges if you select the right security applications from Google Play Store. No doubt, Google Play Store has an abundance of suitable options, and it's quite difficult for you to select the ones that meet all your expectations. So, I decided to help you by making a short list of the best mobile device security applications that I always carry in my Android smartphone. Here are the best security apps you must have in your Android smartphone; have a look
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