Security experts have identified over one-hundred and sixty bogus Android apps on the Google Play Store posing as the real thing…
The most recent White Ops’ latest Satori Threat Intelligence and Research investigation reveals more than 160 apps were mimicking notable programs in order to garner downloads and to deploy adware and malware. The operation, dubbed “CopyCatz” pinpoints the 160+ apps that have already managed to amass over 10 million installations through the Google Play Store.
Hackers Tricking Google Play Store Users into Downloading Fake Apps
The bogus apps, masquerading as popular legitimate mobile applications, went under names that were similar to those being copied. One such example was a fake app named “Assistive Touch 2020,” that was clearly attempting to fool people into mistaking it for the genuine Assistive Touch. Most displayed out-of-context ads or in-house adverts. So, it’s advisable for people to go through their app library to delete any frauds. A White Ops blog post explains:
“The Satori team discovered that these apps contain code capable of displaying out-of-context ads under the com.tdc.adservice package. The apps’ behavior is controlled by a command-and-control JSON hosted on Dropbox (Note: Dropbox is another victim, not a participant, in the CopyCatz operation). The URL of the JSON differs from app to app, but the structure is very similar, indicating the frequency of the ads and the Publisher ID to be used.”