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Thirteen apps removed from the Google Play Store were infected with malware

Posted: , by Alan F.

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These 13 apps were kicked out of the Google Play Store for containing malware

These 13 apps were kicked out of the Google Play Store for containing malware


Thirteen apps removed from the Google Play Store were part of a malware chain called Brain Test. The apps looked harmless to users and to the Android operating system itself, but were poised to do terrible things. These malicious apps would get installed on an Android device where they would attempt to gain root access. These apps also helped install other malware infected apps on the same device, unbeknownst to the owner of the phone. Because the original 13 apps were games that some found fun to play, it was easy for them to find Android users to install them.

These infected apps were able to create phony reviews on the Google Play Store, enticing other Android users to install them. And with rooted phones, even a factory reset wouldn't remove them. In that case, users would have to flash a clean build of Android from a Factory Image onto their phones. At the time detected, these apps were in the process of installing other infected apps on various units. Had they not been spotted, the damage to infected handsets could have been immense.

The chart at the top of this article lists the 13 apps that were kicked out of the Google Play Store. Make sure none of them are installed on your phone. The motive, by the way, is money. The hackers behind Brain Trust sell a guaranteed number of app installations to developers. By creating the malware, these hackers can meet their promises to these developers, earning them big bucks. Some of the apps had 500,000 installations or more, with a (bogus) 4.5 rating.
 
source: Lookout via RedmondPie

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posted on 09 Jan 2016, 01:36 4

1. Deca-core (Posts: 75; Member since: 20 Nov 2015)


where is candy crush!!?

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 01:52 2

3. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11917; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


And Facebook and anything Google does.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 01:59 2

5. Bm888 (Posts: 390; Member since: 06 Jul 2015)


Thirteen, the illuminati number

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:35 3

12. neela_akaash (Posts: 1118; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


they removed 13 apps on Friday....

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 14:51

58. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Seriously? Facebook is spyware because its lets people spy on you openly, so I will give you that one.

But Google? Really? What's your search engine of choice? Be honest! What about Maps? No one has a better Maps over Google. Not even Rand/McNally.

The rest of the Google apps I will give you benefit of the doubt because Newstand, Google+, Movie/Music are all useless.

But Maps and PlayStore are ok.

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 14:51

59. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Angry ____ ! Whatever app that begins with Angry anything is also infectious!

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 01:52 1

2. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11917; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


And they said the Play Store was safe.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 01:56 10

4. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2225; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Nothing Is Safe Especially Internet Related Things.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 03:33 25

14. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


They also say that about the Appstore
http://www.wired.com/2015/09/apple-removes-300-infected-apps-app-store/

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 10:05

47. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11917; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You live up to your username yet again.

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 10:15

48. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


awww butthurt and making the same lame comment again.. At least you are consistent ;)

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 21:06

53. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11917; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You're pretty consistent with not having a clue about anything. Perhaps it's time you actually bought one.

posted on 11 Jan 2016, 03:01

54. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Awww there there it's okay, you are funny.

posted on 11 Jan 2016, 12:48 1

55. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11917; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You are clueless.

posted on 11 Jan 2016, 12:53 1

56. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Here's a +1 for effort ;)

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 15:00

60. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


You need to be a PA writer. They always wanna attack Android when there was an article that showed, of all the operating systems for 2014, iOS and Mac OS X were the top vulnerabilities patched operating systems that required the most patches to fix. While Android and Windows which have MORE users had less...far and away less.

http://www.gfi.com/blog/most-vulnerable-operating-systems-and-applications-in-2014/

Mac OS X had 147 vulnerabilities, while iOS has 127.
Windows 7 which is still the most use desktop OS, has less than 1/3. Yet 60% of Windows users are still on Windows 7.

Android

6 total vulnerabilities 4 high severity 1 medium severity 1 low severity

It is important to note that Android is based on Linux Kernel too and some of those vulnerabilities apply to Android as well. The malware on Android devices is usually spread via applications installed on the devices rather than via holes in the operating system.

Another question: where is Safari? Are Safari vulnerabilities included in OS X counts? The answer is no. Safari vulnerabilities are counted separately as is the case with the other web browsers. The reason why Safari is not listed is because it did not make it to the top of the list (it does have a large number of vulnerabilities, but only three of them are high severity):

Safari

70 total vulnerabilities 3 high severity 67 medium severity 0 low severity

To be fair, Internet Explorer is still the vulnerability king.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 08:07 9

29. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1204; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Stop trolling mxy, I'm not on their side but clearly you are frequently getting owned recently.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 09:01

35. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4274; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


It is pretty safe. Google has said only 0.001% of apps in the Play Store had malware, these 13 were a part of that statistic. Even if users did install these apps, the chances of their devices actually getting infected and becoming unstable because of it are minuscule because of device specific protection (e.g., Knox).

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 10:32 1

36. Whateverman (Posts: 3251; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Right! Like how iCloud was safe up until all those naked pictures started popping up all over the Internet.

I go away for a year, come back and you're still spewing the same old tired "I hate Android" lines. C'mon Son!

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 07:12

45. elitewolverine (Posts: 5116; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


You forgot to mention that it wasn't malware or hacking, it was bad passwords, and a passreset that wasn't great. And you also forgot to mention that during that same time frame....MILLIONS of gmails were compromised, Google stated they were old unused etc type of accounts, which then puts the onus on googles bogus numbers of users. At the end of the day, people wanted to see the nudes from apple users...not so much the nudes from it's Google users you know.....http://goo.gl/VH7Tyx

Stay sane my friend

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 11:20 1

49. Whateverman (Posts: 3251; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Oh, yeah. Android troll number two. Dude, quit taking notes from the Steve Jobs handbook (they were using it wrong). Blame it on whatever your fanboy mind wants but the bottom line is iCloud was hacked! I know you don't want to admit it but apple is not perfect. I have no problem admiring Android isn't perfect. Apple and Google has had security issues, but you just can't admit your golden calf(I know your iPhone is gold, don't even try it) isn't God. Good day sir.

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 11:28

50. Whateverman (Posts: 3251; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Oh and I also forgot to mention one of the few times malware-vulnerabilities found in the App Store. So here you go...

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2989037/malware-vulnerabilities/iphone-malware-yispecter-apple-app-store-itbwcw.html

posted on 14 Jan 2016, 10:48 1

57. linuxbeastmaster (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Jan 2016)


The statistics show, 13 of 1.2 Million apps?
I am convinced that we're safe.
When in doubt don't root, flash the rom or have your phone place do it.

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 15:10

61. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


PA is being paid by Apple to relay as many bad thinsg about Android if at all possible, which takes away attention to the fact iOS is more vulnerable to attacks because all of them must be handled by Appel only and they can't keep up and some are left to go unnoticed for months.

With Android, being NIX based; any coder can provide a fix and Google does accept fixes from 3rd parties and many even get paid for providing that fix, as does Microsoft. Apple? NO!

How many times has Cydia jailbreaking foudn holes in iOS? Every single version basically up to iOS 9. How much did Apple pay them for finding those exploits which they patch in the next iOS version? nOT A FRIKKIN DIME!

Yet they have over $200B in cash reserves.

Compared to Google, Apple and Microsoft; Apple cares less for its customers who spend more money to buy their crap.

Now watch all the Apple-protectionists come out and try to blast my post.

Looking at you first MXY!

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 15:19

62. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Who?

Look at the numbers fool. 13 apps out of 1.2million were foufn to be flawed.

While Apple knew of over 4000 apps in the app store that were flawed and yet has not removed all of them...yet! As I assume they will. But they arent going to tell you because their app validation process is suppose to catch them. See not even your bloody Apple os perfect.

Please readhttp://www.computerworld.com/article/2989037/malware-vulnerabilities/iphone-malware-yispecter-apple-app-store-itbwcw.html

At take no credit for this link. It was posted below and I read it. Same on Apple for pushing PA and others to hide this info, and instead pay PA to make every possible article to shame Google and Android.

4000 apps as of November 2015 were flawed vs only 13 for Android.

Imagine fool. An app that can be installed without showing a icon for it. hsn't happened to my knowledge on Android. Effects phones that arent even jailbroken. Wow! Scary!

The other problem is very simple and please understand this. No rogue app is EVER suppose to be allowed to be installed on a Unix based operating system without the knowledge of the user...EVER!

Apple uses what i call a quiet install policy where basically they take responsibility if your crap gets screwed up. So you have to "trust" them. Problem, when you install an app on iOS, you have no idea what it does, what it will access, what it will effect or nothing. At least EVERY Android app require YOU the user give the it permission first to install, it lists everything the app is suppose to access whether you read it or not.

I am not saying a dev can't hide malware because it has been done on both. But at least you get to give some type of credence to what is goign to happen next.

if the most widely uses platforms require your attention to such details, what makes Apple think they will do a better job when their motto by default has been security through obscurity?

Please explain! I can't wait for your reply, if I even get one.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:02 4

6. AkoSiKuting (banned) (Posts: 88; Member since: 09 Dec 2015)


Wow never thought Google have quality control, kudos at least :)

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:17 6

8. GreenMan (limited) (Posts: 1016; Member since: 09 Nov 2015)


@AkoSiKuting WOW! I though the same about Apple App Store!

Turns out, nothing is safe...

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:17 1

7. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


This is why I don't like android, too messy and viruses galore.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:20 14

9. GreenMan (limited) (Posts: 1016; Member since: 09 Nov 2015)


@BradyCrack Well, do you remember what happened to Apple App Store in September, 2015?

It's just that Apple never disclose it publically... Or try to suppress the news at the very least...

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 04:29

16. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


1 fly

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 08:27 1

30. MajorXero (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Jan 2016)


@GreenMan Wow dude. Do you have a hard on for Apple or what. This has nothing to do with Apple yet you keep posting about them. Get over it. You look like a whinny little baby that didn't get his way. Let it go man. Apple is better and you know it.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 08:45 5

32. Sovat_fc (Posts: 224; Member since: 30 Aug 2014)


@MajorXero - My IQ is under 30, so can I be your friend?

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 08:46 3

33. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3908; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Maybe he's doing that because people are saying that instances like what's in this article is reason to stay away from Android, and he is counterpointing that it also happens on iOS. So that's not a fair justification to say one is bad and one is good when both are susceptible to the issue.

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 15:21

64. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


http://www.computerworld.com/article/2989037/malware-vulnerabilities/iphone-malware-yispecter-apple-app-store-itbwcw.html

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:23 7

10. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2326; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Really? And what do you think of the more prone to crash and more vulnerable iOS:

bit.ly/1Gtfq6n

bit.ly/1FZM9C9

Dislike it even more? Or are you just a typical iHypocrite with double standards?

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:24 3

11. Wiencon (Posts: 1816; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


C'mon it's another troll, let go

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 06:55

24. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


I personally can't let them go without making them eat their words!

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 01:24

41. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Haha I just joking around!

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 04:30

17. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


2 fly

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 04:34 1

19. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Wow someone's butt hurt jk. I'm just messing around, seeing how many flies I can catch.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 08:47 4

34. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3908; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


That would make you a piece of crap then wouldn't it? ;-)

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 01:31

44. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


No, not really. There are people just as bad if not worse on all the posts on Apple. And they're serious unlike me. I just wanted to go on an android post and see what would happen ;)

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 07:12 1

46. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3908; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


So you're stirring up things just to see what happens? There are enough of these jackholes doing it for an actual reason, now we have people doing it just for the fun of it. At least those people are doing it because they believe what they're saying, misguided or not. You're just doing it to stir $hit up, which is pointless.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 03:36 1

15. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


They were talking about malware, not viruses. There is a big difference there.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 04:30

18. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


3 fly new record!

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 04:35

20. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


All I know is that they're both bad

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 05:39 2

22. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


And as you can see, there was malware in the Appstore as well. Besides iOS still has more vulnerabilities than Android.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 06:00

23. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


I'm not denying that. I wanted to see how many angry android fans would reply to this over they're precious. Not an android hater, though I do prefer iOS over android. But what am I saying Apple fans would do the same.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 06:58

25. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


You wanted to see howmany fandroids will take your attention bait, right?

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 01:25

42. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


That's right. But both fans are as bad as each other !

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 11:02 1

37. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Hardcore fans on both end are awful ;)

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 01:27

43. BradyCrack (Posts: 513; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Agreed.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 18:15

39. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2326; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Actually, Virus is a type of malware that destroys the system it infects. These malware don't do that, they instead disguise themselves as legit apps and install other apps, they're Trojan backdoor malware.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_horse_%28computing%29

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 19:20

40. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2748; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


A virus also infects other systems which these type of malwares don't. They stay on the system it's on.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 05:15

21. Mr.Z. (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 08 Jan 2016)


This is why I don't like iFans. Dump.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 07:42

27. submar (Posts: 406; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Malware using XCodeGhost I guess

posted on 28 Jan 2016, 15:20

63. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8890; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


http://www.computerworld.com/article/2989037/malware-vulnerabilities/iphone-malware-yispecter-apple-app-store-itbwcw.html

4000 apps in the Apple App store went untreated last year.

And you think 13 apps is a big deal? Just another clueless, stupid, misinformed idiot.

Why do you people even breed?

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 02:38

13. bowie (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Jan 2016)


my old tablet which I hand over to my little sister got attacked by this kind of apps. she likes to install any game with resemblance to frozen characters. she must be unaware with root request popup and permit it. after gain root, this apps move itself to system and start downloading apps and also move them to system silently.To prevent elimination it also mess with supersu binary. what I did to remove it was to unroot then root my tablet again. And after give root permission to essential and trusted apps, I set root request to deny and begin to purge my system apps from these apps. there's quite a number there.

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 07:01

26. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


Nice tip. Thanks!

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 07:46

28. ram64GB (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Oct 2014)


I actually experienced this issue. I just removed those apk file via the root explorer including the su and bu to unroot my device, then reset ir after. It goes everythings fine and feel like a newly bought phone. No need to worry abou that " And with rooted phones, even a factory reset wouldn't remove them" and do the risk thing(for newbie) like this " In that case, users would have to flash a clean build of Android from a Factory Image onto their phones."

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