These Android apps ripped off over 10 million users; uninstall them ASAP before it happens to you

These Android apps ripped off over 10 million users; uninstall them ASAP before it happens to you
A Trojan in the world of software is not a contraceptive. It is malware designed to look like legitimate software. According to a new report by Zimperian Labs, a malicious Trojan that the researchers named "GriftHorse" was used on a mobile campaign considered "aggressive" according to the report. More than 10 million Android users from over 70 countries were victimized by a scheme that had them subscribed to innocent-looking apps that charged them, without their knowledge, approximately $42 per month.

More than 200 apps were involved in the scheme covering app categories such as Tools, Entertainment, Dating, and more. This set up a widespread net that made it easier to catch victims. One particular app, "Handy Translator Pro" garnered over 500,000 installs. The scheme dates back to November 2020. Android users ripped off lived in various countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.

Report details how malicious Android apps are ripping off consumers

In its report, Zimperium researchers Aazim Yaswant and Nipun Gupta said, "While typical premium service scams take advantage of phishing techniques, this specific global scam has hidden behind malicious Android applications acting as Trojans, allowing it to take advantage of user interactions for increased spread and infection." The apps appeared to be harmless when reading their descriptions and the permissions they requested, but as the report noted, "this false sense of confidence changes when users get charged month over month for the premium service they get subscribed to without their knowledge and consent."

The malicious apps were listed in the Google Play Store and third-party app stores. Zimperian shared the results of its findings with Google and these apps were removed from the Play Store. However, the apps still can be found in unsecured third-party Android app storefronts and unless already uninstalled, they still reside on the Android handsets owned by those who installed the apps on their phones.

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Victims whose devices were infected by the malicious apps received multiple alerts stating that they had won a prize and needed to claim it immediately. The popups would continue to appear at a rate of five times per hour until the user finally gives in and accepts the prize. Once that was done, the victim would be redirected to a website asking for their phone number which was actually a contract for SMS service priced at the equivalent of $35 per month.

Uninstall these apps now!

Not only would it be months before the user realizes that he/she has been scammed, but there is also no way to get a refund. The report notes that "Overall, GriftHorse Android Trojan takes advantage of small screens, local trust, and misinformation to trick users into downloading and installing these Android Trojans, as well frustration or curiosity when accepting the fake free prize spammed into their notification screens."

Some of the apps listed in the report can be found below in order of the most downloaded to the least. If you do have one of these titles installed, uninstall it immediately:

  • Handy Translator Pro 
  • Heart Rate and Pulse Tracker 
  • GPS Location Tracker
  • iCare – Find Location
  • My Chat Translator 
  • Bus – Metrolis 2021
  • Free Translator Photo
  • Locker Tool
  • Fingerprint Changer
  • Call Recoder Pro
  • Instant Speech Translation
  • Racers Car Driver
  • Slime Simulator
  • Keyboard Themes
  • What’s Me Sticker
  • Amazing Video Editor
  • Safe Lock
  • Heart Rhythm
  • Smart Spot Locator
  • CutCut Pro
  • OFFRoaders – Survive
  • Phone Finder by Clapping
  • Bus Driving Simulator
  • Fingerprint Defender
  • Lifeel – scan and test
  • Launcher iOS 15 
  • Idle Gun Tycoon
  • Scanner App Scan Docs & Notes
  • Chat Translator All Messengers
  • Hunt Contact
  • Icony
  • Horoscope : Fortune
  • Fitness Point
  • Qibla AR Pro
  • Heart Rate and Meal Tracker
  • Mine Easy Translator
  • PhoneControl Block Spam Calls
  • Parallax paper 3D
  • SnapLens – Photo Translator
  • Qibla Pass Direction
  • Caller-x 
  • Clap 
  • Photo Effect Pro
  • iConnected Tracker
  • Smart Call Recorder
  • Daily Horoscope & Life Palmestry
  • Qibla Compass (Kaaba Locator)
  • Prookie-Cartoon Photo Editor
  • Qibla Ultimate
  • Truck – RoudDrive Offroad 
  • GPS Phone Tracker – Family Locator
  • Call Recorder iCall
  • PikCho Editor app
  • Street Cars: pro Racing 
  • Cinema Hall: Free HD Movies
  • Live Wallpaper & Background
  • Intelligent Translator Pro
  • Face Analyzer
  • TrueCaller & TrueRecoder 
  • iTranslator_ Text & Voice & Photo
  • Pulse App – Heart Rate Monitor 
  • Video & Photo Recovery Manager 2 
  • Fitness Trainer 
  • ClipBuddy 
  • Vector arts 
  • Ludo Speak v2.0
  • Battery Live Wallpaper 4K 
  • Heart Rate Pro Health Monitor 
  • Locatoria – Find Location 
  • GetContacter   
  • AR Phone Booster – Battery Saver 
  • English Arabic Translator direct
  • VPN Zone – Fast & Easy Proxy 
  • 100% Projector for Mobile Phone 
  • Clap To Find My Phone
  • Screen Mirroring TV Cast
  • Free Calls WorldWide
  • My Locator Plus
  • Language Translator-Easy&Fast
  • WiFi Unlock Password Pro X
  • Pony Video Chat-Live Stream
  • Easy TV Show
  • CIAO – Live Video Chat
  •  Keyboard: Virtual Projector App 
  • Bag X-Ray 100% Scanner 
  • Mobile Things Finder
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  •  Caller ID & Spam Blocker
  • Free Coupons 2021
  • Launcher iOS for Android

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