Apple's iOS software prides on offering top-notch security to its users through its walled operating system, whereas Android's open nature lets malware, adware and trojans slip through apps more often than not. In another breach of security in the Android ecosystem, 33 popular apps have been infected by a trojan.
Dr Web, a developer of security apps, discovered the trojan called Android.Click.312.origin in 33 popular apps in the Play Store. What's worrisome is the fact that millions have downloaded these Android apps and are now at risk. The trojan slyly resides within apps without giving away any hint of its existence, when in fact, it is stealing information from users' phones.
"Android.Click.312.origin is a trojan module that can be embedded in Android applications by developers. It was first found in software distributed on Google Play. So as not to raise suspicion, the module starts working only 8 hours after launching in programs containing it. We also know modifications of this trojan, such as Android.Click.313.origin," Dr Web explained.
The security researchers at Dr Web found that the trojan would connect to the command and control server and request information about the mobile device, such as make and model, OS version, user's country, default system language, user-agent identifier, mobile carrier, internet connection type, display details, time zone and data on the app infected by the trojan. Additionally, researchers found out that the trojan would also monitor what apps users are installing and send those details to the command server.
The trojan basically spies on user's activities and collects data. There's no indication of the trojan collecting personal data, but that could change anytime, which is why users must be wary of such apps. According to the report, just these 33 apps have been downloaded over 100 million times, which offers access to a massive trove of information.
For those who'd like to be on the safer side of this, here's the list of 33 apps infected by Android.Click.313.origin:
- Ixigo Train
- GPS Fix
- Social Studies (a Russian app)
- 1300 Math Formulas Mega Pack
- Sikh World - Nitnem & Live Gurbani Radio
- OK Google Voice Commands (Guide)
- Ramadan Times: Azan, Prayer Times & Qibla
- Prayer Times: Azan, Quran, Qibla Compass
- Al Quran Mp3 - 50 Reciters & Translation Audio
- Full Quran MP3 - 50+ Audio Translation & Languages
- Qibla Compass - Prayer Times, Quran, Kalma, Azan
- Muslim Prayer Times & Qibla Compass
- GPS Route Finder
- Who deleted me?
- Who unfriended me?
- Notepad - Text Editor PRO
- Notepad - Text Editor PRO (different APK)
- Power VPN Free VPN for Android
- Video to MP3 Converter, RINGTONE Maker, MP3 Cutter
- Remove Unwanted Object
- GPS Speedometer PRO
- GPS Speedometer
- PDF Viewer
- Route Finder
- Pedometer Step Counter
- EMI Calculator - Loan & Finance Planner
- English Urdu Dictionary
- Cricket Mazza Live Line
- ai.type keyboard Plus + Emoji
- QR Code Reader
- QR & Barcode Scanner
Besides these apps, another security research firm, Trend Micro discovered 85 malicious apps in the Play Store with collective downloads of 8 million. These bad apps flood the user's phone with ads and users are forced to watch the whole ad before closing it or going back to the app.
Google has already removed the apps after being notified by Trend Micro. The list includes apps like Background Eraser, Beautiful House - House Painting Game, Super Selfie Camera, One Stroke Line Puzzle and more. But there's no word on whether Google is in the process of removing the trojan-infected apps listed above by Dr Web. Stay tuned for updates.