Millions of Android Handsets Infected by the ExpensiveWall Malware

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This allows the malware to execute in the user's device once it has been downloaded.

Google did not respond immediately to a request seeking comment on whether the company had notified Play customers who had downloaded the malware to urge them to uninstall the malware.

"Check Point's mobile threat research team identified a new variant of an Android malware that sends fraudulent premium SMS messages and charges users' accounts for fake services without their knowledge." the Check Point analysis states.

Check Point Software said it had discovered at least 50 Android applications on the mobile app store tainted with malware created to surreptitiously send fraudulent premium SMS messages and charge users for fake services.

This is by far not the first time that security researchers have found malware-laden applications on Google Play, which is widely regarded as the safest source for Android applications.

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"Unlike most malware found on Google Play, this directly inflicts harm on users", he said. Not only did it force people to sign up with subscriptions via SMS, but it was also able to remotely install applications as well as leaking user information including the phone number, Global Positioning System location, installed apps, and IP address.

More than 50 apps on Google Play Store were found to be malicious software that would send text messages with premium offers in order to charge people for services which turned out to be fake.

The malware not only generates profit but also manages to collect personal data of users and sends this information back to command and control server.

"Since the malware is capable of operating silently, all of this illicit activity takes place without the victim's knowledge, turning it into the ultimate spying tool."

ExpensiveWall achieved go undeceted by Google's security procedures by using a technique known as packing, which involves adding malicious code to the infected apps. Google's recently announced Play Protect should also be able to remove malicious apps from infected devices, but that might not happen on older versions of Android or on those where users have disabled Play Protect protection. The most important expansion, at least for the majority of our Audience was the launching of Voice apps in Australia earlier this month. That app is called "Lovely Wallpaper" and if you ever downloaded it, you do not have any of our sympathies.

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