Android SMS malware hosted on Google Play infects 1.2 Million users

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Experts often suggest to download android apps only from Google Play to avoid malware infection.  But, it doesn't mean that we can trust all of the apps hosted on Google.  

Security researchers from Panda security has found more than five malicious apps being hosted on Google play.

The apps in question appear to be targeting users in Spain.  Name of the apps are in Spanish: “Peinados F├íciles” (Easy Hairdos), “Dietas para Reducir el Abdomen” (Abs Diets), “Rutinas Ejercicios para el Gym” (Workout Routines) and “Cupcakes Recetas” (Cupcake Recipes).

The apps obtain phone number of the infected device from WhatsApp and uses it to sign the victim up to a premium rated SMS subscription services.

Researchers say that each of these apps have been downloaded by between 50k and 100k users. It means that between 300k and 1.2 Million users might have affected this malware.

“The truth is that fraudsters are making insane amounts of money from these premium services. A conservative estimate of, let’s say, €20 paid by each user would result in a huge sum of 6 to 24 million euros stolen from victims”, said Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs.
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