Web Log: New strain of malware installs unwanted apps, spies on users

Malware hiding inside apps on Google Play, warns security experts Trend Micro

Security experts Trend Micro has warned Android users about a new, particularly malicious form of malware that can gain control of your phone while bypassing the security checks carried out by app stores. The malware is hiding inside apps available on Google Play and other app stores and has already affected more than 850,000 devices worldwide. The majority of affected devices are in India, Indonesia and Thailand.

The malware works by gaining root privilege, which allows it to install other apps on your device. It can silently install these apps as well as unwanted ads and “even worse, these threats can also be used to install backdoors and spy on users,” says TrendMicro who are currently searching for this malware. Already they have found that while most apps on Google Play are “clean” of this malicious code, there are infected, identical versions in the wild.

Their advice is to stick to official app stores like Google Play and Amazon, and read up on the developers behind any new apps you plan to install.