A HANDFUL of shady apps with tens of thousands of downloads have been unearthed by cyber researchers in the Google Play Store.
The downloads are disguised as regular apps to fool people, but are loaded with malware that steals their banking information and more.
According to PhoneArena, six malicious apps have been outed by cybersecurity firms SecneurX, D3Lab and Kaspersky in the past few days.
The apps have been disguised to look like keyboard apps, translators, camera apps and more.
Three of them had more than 10,000 downloads from Google’s App Store, used by billions of people around the world.
And while some have been shut down by the search giant, others remain in store at the time of writing.
According to the researchers, the downloads were versions of the Trojan or Joker malware.
It is popular software used by attackers to break into people’s phones and steal their information.
If you have any of the apps listed by researchers, you should delete them now.
Even if booted from Play Store, they could still be active on your phone.
The apps are: Document Manager, Coin Track Loan – Online Loans, Cool Caller Screen, PSD Auth Protector, RGB Emoji Keyboard and Camera Translator Pro.
Cyber crooks pull off the trick by downloading genuine apps before adding malicious code to them.
They then upload the app to the store under a different name, which allows them to bypass Google’s security systems.
Once on your phone, the apps will request access to text messages, notifications, and more.
This allows the crooks behind the software to collect phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, and even credit card details.
Cybersecurity experts warn against downloading apps from unofficial sources.
However, they also warn that you “shouldn’t be too cautious” when installing apps from Google Play.
Igor Golovin, a researcher at cybersecurity company Kaspersky, said last month: “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/8949041/urgent-google-warning-delete-apps-stolen-data-cash/ Urgent Google Warning: Delete these apps NOW or risk ‘stolen data and cash’