50 Apps Removed From Google Play Store – Millions of devices infected by ExpensiveWall
In life, nothing is free
Always be wary of free apps found on the Google Play Store because it might actually cost you money without you knowing it.
According to a report recently published by CNET, 50 apps were removed by Google from the Google Play Store as they were discovered to contain malicious software that basically registers victims for some bogus paid services without their knowledge and then sends them fraudulent text messages and charge them for it.
The malicious software, dubbed “ExpensiveWall” by Check Point Software Technologies, the security company who uncovered this damning information said that the malware containing apps have been downloaded between 1 million to 4.2 million times before the applications were ultimately removed. Check Point discovered that a huge number of these applications were disguised as free wallpaper apps.
The security company said that “ExpensiveWall” is a new variant of a recently discovered malware by McAfee earlier this year on the Google Play Store. The company also added that the whole family of this type of malware has now been downloaded between 5.9 million and 21.1 million times. What makes “ExpensiveWall” different than the earlier discovered malware is that it packs the malware, a technique used by the malware developers to encrypt malicious code, allowing it to remain undetected by the Google Play Store’s rigorous screening process as well as Google’s Play Protect.
Not only do “ExpensiveWall” apps steal from its victims in terms of the victims’ money but it also can steal various information about the victims from their phones. The malware can be modified to not just steal your money but also to capture pictures, record audio, and even steal sensitive data, basically turning their phones into the malware developer’s own personal spying tool. All done without the victims’ knowledge.
Check Point also warned that any app infected with the “ExpensiveWall” malware installed by users prior to the apps’ removal from the Play Store, are still at risk of being affected by the malware. They advised that these apps should be removed from their devices manually.
Pokdepinion: Never trust free apps especially from the ones made by shady or obscure developers because you never know what their agenda is. No matter how pretty it may look. Look at its rating, read the comments. Ultimately be aware of what you download, or else you’ll regret it.