This week Google has removed at least 300 apps from the Official Play Store after learning that apps were being hijacked to power DDoS attacks.
“We identified approximately 300 apps associated with the issue, blocked them from the Play Store, and we’re in the process of removing them from all affected devices”, said a Google spokesperson. “The researchers’ findings, combined with our own analysis, have enabled us to better protect Android users, everywhere”.
In August experts from ESET warned of possible attack, crooks were building a botnet dubbed WireX that is has been estimated to be composed of at least 70,000 devices before Google removed the apps.
ESET detection engineer, Lukas Stefanko, was the first that identified the threat 20 days before the apps were removed from the Play Store.
“”We detected this infiltration as Android/HiddenApp and Android/Clickerand, plus we were one of the first to disclose this threat and how to get rid of it”, said Stefanko.
The expert reported his findings to the Google Security team that promptly managed to identify and remove the apps, then the ESET researchers informed the users via Facebook.
ESET suggests users install up-to-date security software and be aware when applications that you’ve installed change name or app icon”.
“for people that only recently removed one of these infiltrators, or for people that could stumble upon them in the Play store, my advice would be to read comments and app reviews. You should mainly focus on the negative ones, make sure you have installed up-to-date security software and be aware when applications that you’ve installed change name or app icon”. said Lukas.
(Security Affairs – DDoS, Play Store)