Malware found on Android’s Google Play Store, Kaspersky reports. According to cybersecurity researchers, the malware is hidden in the code of CamScanner, a popular Android application that facilitates the creation of PDF files on Android. The malware was downloaded over 100 million times before Google deleted the app.
The malware has managed to infiltrate the Android’s Play Store by hiding in a popular and harmless app, reveals a Kaspersky study. “CamScanner was a legitimate application, with no malicious intent,” the report says. After investigation, they believe that hackers added the malware to the ads library displayed in the application without the developers’ knowledge.
Google Play Store: A dangerous Android malware is hiding in the CamScanner application
Once installed on the victim’s smartphone, the malware will allow hackers to activate other malware in the application’s code remotely. This strategy generally succeeds in fooling the security protocols of the Play Store. The same method, called “droppers,” is also used by hackers behind the Exobot malware.
The malware then displays intrusive ads on the infected smartphone. Hackers consequently generate significant advertising revenues. Worse, malware sometimes registers its victims for paid subscriptions without them noticing. “Many users have left warnings and complaints on the application’s page on the Play Store,” Kaspersky says. Before downloading an unknown application, you are always advised to check the notices.
CamScanner developers were able to remove the malware from the application code during the last update. Anyway, Google quickly banned the application of the Play Store following Kaspersky’s discoveries. For the time being, you are encouraged to uninstall CamScanner from your device as a security measure. “Any application, even from an official store, even with a good reputation, and even with millions of positive reviews and a loyal and important user base – can suddenly turn into malware,” concludes the Kaspersky report. We, therefore, invite you to remain vigilant and install an antivirus on your Android smartphone.