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It seems like that the tech industry is experiencing a tough time in fending off various privacy and security-related attacks on their platforms. With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, users trust issues with the tech giants like Google and Facebook are also tottered. With the increase in the number of data theft and privacy-related hacks, users are looking out for more advanced features that can guarantee their security and privacy.
Now, it is being reported that the security researchers at the Symantec have claimed that they have discovered a number of new malware apps on the Google PlayStore. This raises security concerns among the users and brings the safety in Android platform in question. The report which was released by the cyber-security firm has listed about 45 of such apps. Out of these 45 apps, seven of them are being described as 'persistent'. The reason why they are being called 'persistent' app is that they reappeared on the Play Store under a different name and publisher. This is following the fact that Google had earlier removed such apps from the Play Store.
Further, these apps advertise themselves as unharmful apps by providing services like emoji keyboard addition, storage cleaners, app lockers, call recorder and even calculators. However inside is a hidden 'Android.Reputation.1" malware that is said to use the resources of the smartphone to carry out background tasks. Also, "Once the app is installed, it takes various measures to stay on the device, disappear, and erase its track".
The company further mentions 38 more apps which divert the traffic to various dodgy websites instead of functioning as advertised. According to the report, the apps consume a huge amount of data while loading various URLs in the background without notifying the user.
"The URLs lead to various blogs and it is likely the app is being used to increase Web traffic to these sites. So far, the majority of users downloading these apps seem to be located in the US, US, South Africa, India, Japan, Egypt, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden".
The researchers also mention that these malicious app feature legitimate-sounding names. This includes Multiplication Table Game, Subway, Piano Game, Game Billiards, General Cultures and Swing games. These names have tricked a number of users to download the malicious apps. We suggest our users download the apps from the trusted sources only and not download any malicious app that may affect their device's performance.