These malicious apps are still available on Google Play despite multiple danger warnings

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A family of malware-laden apps from a developer are still masquerading on Google Play store. These apps have a cumulative download number of 1 million. As per security software company Malwarebytes, there are four apps that contain malware which steal users’ information by serving them phishing pages.
What’s concerning is that the developer has been previously reported to have deployed malware in its apps and yet these apps are available for download on the Google Play store. These apps are developed by Mobile apps Group and are Bluetooth-centred apps:

  • Bluetooth Auto Connect
  • Driver: Bluetooth Wi-Fi, USB
  • Bluetooth App Sender
  • Mobile transfer: smart switch

Malwarebytes claims that the apps listed on Google Play are infected with Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.BTGTHB which is used to steal users’ information. Apart from this, the malware in the app opens phishing sites in Chrome. The content of the phishing sites could be harmless and used simply to produce pay-per-click. It could be a dangerous phishing site that attempts to trick unsuspecting users.
As per the analysis of the Bluetooth Auto Connect, when users first install this malicious app, it takes a couple of days before it begins to display its malicious behaviour. Delaying malicious behaviour is one of the common tactics that cybercriminals use to evade detection by malware developers.

Once the delay period is over, the malicious app opens phishing sites in Chrome. Some of them are used to earn money on the basis of pay-per-click, and others lead to phishing sites, including those with adult content. These infected sites inform users through a pop-up that they’ve been infected and need to perform an update to remove a threat from their phones.
The development comes at a time when Google is working on revamping the Google Play store so that Android can get recommendations of high-quality apps on the store. The company says that on the basis of some new matrices, it will make higher-quality titles more visible on the store and remove lower-quality ones from prominent places.

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