We have some bad news about the Google Play Store as more than 140 apps were removed this week due to be infected with malware. These apps were found to contain malware, and most of these apps were released within the last year. Android malware is not a new issue, and it comes up more times than it really should.
The concerning part here is that the apps filled with malware were on the Google Play Store. That means they likely were downloaded thousands of times by users. Not to mention Google Play is supposed to have better security to prevent this from happening. Read on to learn more about the nearly 150 apps that were removed from Google Play Store this week.
145 Apps Removed from Google Play Due to Malware Infestation
It is pretty crazy to think that over 145 were just removed from the Google Play Store this week because they were infected with malware. Most of these infected apps first showed up on Google Play Store around October 2017 or November 2017. That means these apps have been on Google Play for nearly a year before they were found to contain malware. For people on Android, this is really bad news because they were likely downloaded thousands of times.
Some of these apps even had a four-star rating on Google Play Store, which is very bizzare and concerning. While we know these apps contained malware, the malware is setup differently than most other Android malware. There is a small catch with these apps, which is that the malware was found executable files related to Microsoft Windows. That means your Android device cannot be infected in reality, since it needs a Windows-based system to execute the malware.
Newest Android Malware Requires Connection to Windows PC
So the way that this new Android malware is setup, you will need to connect to a Windows-based PC in order for the malware to infect the device. Since this malware runs off of Windows executable files, it cannot infect your Android device without the Windows PC to execute the code. Even though you are safe unless you connect to a Windows PC, there is still grave concern about the new malware.
The firm that discovered this malware is Palo Alto Networks. The company said that this new type of malware is definitely a threat. Moreover, it is a threat to the supply chain for the software. First thing about this malware is that the APK files are infected. This means that the software is coming from a compromised system that runs Windows.
These Windows computers have to have malware infected in order for this type of malware to happen. The supply chain is threatened with this malware, because the software developers are compromised. It has been proven before that compromised software developers can lead to higher-scaled attacks, such as on Android or elsewhere.
Over 145 Apps Removed from Google Play as Risk to Android Remains Fairly Low
Another thing that makes this malware fairly low-risk is that those PE files that are hidden inside the source code would need to be downloaded. If the source code is not downloaded, those PE files that are hidden cannot run. If you did not already know, you cannot run a malicious PE files directly on Android. Now, if those APK files are unpacked on the Windows PC and those PE files end up executed at that point, then you could have a serious problem.
As for which apps were infected, a couple of them were Gymnastics Training Tutorial, Modification Trail, and Learn to Draw Clothing.” We want to hear from in the comments below what you think of this news. Do you think that this type of malware poses a real threat to people on Android? Are you someone who connects your Android device to a Windows-based PC often? We think the most concerning thing is how long it took for these apps to be removed from Google Play Store. Do you think that nearly a year is too long for these apps to be on Google Play Store before being removed? Let us know what you think about this news in the comments below, and tell us how you protect your Android device.