Research conducted by Malwarebytes.com recently revealed that four malicious apps, all created by app developer Mobile apps Group, were detected on the Google Play store after being downloaded by users over 1 million times.
These apps are infected with malware known as Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.BTGTHB and lead to dangerous phishing scams ranging from pay-per-click sites to pages that tell users they are infected and need to update their devices.
What are the 4 malicious apps to delete?
The following are the names of the four malicious apps that have since been taken down from the Google Play store. If you still have any of these apps on your smart device, delete them immediately:
- Bluetooth App Sender
- Bluetooth Auto Connect
- Driver: Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
- Mobile transfer: smart switch
What do these malicious apps do?
When these apps are first downloaded, they sneakily wait a few days before infecting devices with malware so as to not immediately alert the user. Once those few days have passed and the malware developers have gained the trust of the user, the apps will begin automatically opening phishing sites within Chrome.
These tabs will continue opening even if you are not using your device or when it’s locked. And when the user does finally reopen their device, they will find their browsing history to be flooded with phishing sites and multiple tabs open at once.
This is not the first time that smart device users have been victims of malicious apps, and it certainly won’t be the last.
How can I protect myself from malware apps in the future?
It can be tricky to figure out which apps are infected with malware and which are safe, but you can still take these precautionary steps to give yourself the most amount of protection:
- Check the ratings of any app before you download it and make sure to read the comments. If it’s flooded with negative reviews, it’s probably not worth downloading
- Make sure your software on your iPhone or Android is always up to date
- Keep your web browsers updated. If you’re not sure how to update your web browser, we have step-by-step instructions here.
- Use an antivirus app. Our top pick is TotalAV (Limited time deal: $19 your first year – 80% off).