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Dangerous SharkBot malware found in Google Play apps BANNED; did you download any?

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 27-11-2022 HT Tech

In yet another shocking revelation, Google Play Store, which is supposed to be carrying only secured apps, was found to have many apps with malware in them, infecting those users' gadgets who downloaded any of them. Recently, cyber security experts have found variants of the SharkBot malware in several file manager Android apps on the Google Play Store. Some of these apps have thousands of downloads and all these people now have infected phones.

A blog post by cyber security experts at Bitdefender informed that "the apps Bitdefender found are disguised as file managers, which explains why they request permission to install external packages from the users." Yes, that permission is used to download malware. These apps are even challenging to detect as all they need is the functionality of a file manager to install another app and the malicious behavior will be activated.

Should Android users worry?

These apps have been taken down by Google from its Play Store. But still, these apps are widely circulating on some third-party websites, hence you need to be aware before downloading malware apps. Moreover, those who have already downloaded these dangerous apps, must delete them from their phones fast. How to identify them? Read on.

The first detected malware app was 'X-File Manager,' which was developed by 'Viktor Soft ICe LLC' and had around 10000 installs before its removal from the Play Store. Apart from this, the team also found 'FileVoyager', 'Phone AID, Cleaner, Booster', and 'LiteCleaner M'. Majority of the users who downloaded these malware apps were from the United Kingdom and Italy.

TIPS to avoid malware apps

  • To avoid being a victim of such malware apps, make sure that your Android software is up-to-date.
  • Think twice before you download any app even from the Google Play Store. Despite the fact that Google keeps an eye on such adware and malware, several malicious apps may still make their way onto the Play Store.
  • Also, do perform a manual virus scan on downloaded files before you open them.
  • Read about the app developers before downloading such apps.

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