DANGEROUS rip-off apps that scam users out of money have been banned by Google – but experts warn more are coming to replace them.
Many mimic regular apps to trick people, but they are full of trojans that secretly launch a paid subscription.
The nasty Jocker bug can sneak past Google’s security detection.
It was found in three apps: Style Message, Blood Pressure App, and Camera PDF Scanner.
But well-known brands and names are also imitated in order to gain trust.
This includes apps like GameBeyond, Tubemate, Minecraft, GTA5, and Vidmate.
“While trojanized apps are being removed from the Store on a daily basis, it’s constantly being flooded with new ones taking their place,” said Igor Golovin of Kaspersky.
“Most apps lack any legitimate functionality.
“They start subscribing right after launch while the user sees a loading window.
“They typically pay for legitimate services on behalf of a user, and scammers take a cut of the money being charged.
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“These types of subscription fees are usually deducted from the phone balance.”
Cyber crooks do the trick by downloading genuine apps, adding malicious code to them before re-uploading them to the store under a different name, experts say.
Once on your phone, the app will request access to text messages or notifications so it can intercept verification codes to secretly start a subscription.
Data suggests that Jocker victims were primarily in Saudi Arabia (21.20%), followed by Poland (8.98%) and Germany (6.01%).
Cyber security experts warn against downloading apps from unofficial sources to protect yourself, but also warn to “don’t be careful” when installing apps from Google Play.
“Read the reviews, find out about the developer, terms of service and payment,” advised Golovin.
“For messaging, choose a well-known app with positive reviews.
“Even if you trust an app, don’t give it too many permissions.
“Allow access to notifications only to apps that need it to fulfill their intended purposes – for example, to push notifications to wearable devices.
“Apps for themes like wallpapers or photo editing don’t need access to your notifications.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8813448/google-bans-apps-scam-jocker-bug/ Google bans three dangerous apps that can COST you