Google removed almost 300 Android apps from the official Play Store after expert at ESET reported they were abused for a DDoS attack.
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.
Beware of fake, ad serving, YouTube downloader apps on #GooglePlay. Our researcher Lukas Stefanko will tell you why and how to get rid of it. To protect your phone now, install ESET Mobile Security: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eset.ems2.gp
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.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.