Google Play Store is Android’s official app store for most users. You trust it. But, the recent infiltration of the Play Store by fake malicious apps has made it difficult for users to trust it.
What’s going on?
Android users in the Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia are being targeted via another set of fraudulent apps that made their way to the Google Play Store. Dubbed Android/Etinu, these malicious apps posed as wallpapers, puzzles, photo editors, and other camera-related apps and were downloaded more than 700,000 times before being removed.
Other threats on app stores
- Lately, the BRATA malware was found posing as app security scanners on Play Store.
- The popular third-party app APKPure was invaded with malware capable of downloading trojans to other Android devices.
- AppGallery, Huawei’s official Android app store, was breached by 10 apps infected with Joker malware.
What to expect?
With more than 3 million apps in the Google Play Store and hundreds of thousands of submissions every day, it is challenging for Google to spot all malicious apps at once. Moreover, threats leveraging Notification Listener are anticipated to witness a surge.
The bottom line
Google Play Store has lagged behind in preventing malware, signifying that malicious apps have been constantly slipping into the store and in turn, into victims’ phones. Hence, the only recommendation is that legitimate wallpaper and photo apps won’t ask for Notification Listener or SMS-related permissions. Thus, if a request seems suspicious, it is.