Google Removes 30 Apps From Play Store


July 7, 2020, 11:43 a.m.

Google Play Store has removed over 30 plus apps with malware codes embedded in them from its platform.

The move was as a result of discoveries made by WhiteOps, a cybersecurity firm.

WhiteOps in a blog post stated that "What these apps all have in common besides their fraudulent tactics is their focus on beauty. Most purport to be selfie apps that add beauty filters to users’ pictures, while at the same time showing ads out of context and making it nearly impossible to remove the apps themselves."

The list contained apps with different functionality, from card games to selfie cameras to step counters and even a flashlight app.

The apps were reported to have racked up over 2 million downloads and they all contained the same malicious code.

The malware worked by always opening new browser tabs with a fake login page when users opened Facebook owned apps.

It then displays the new Facebook login page on top of the app that was initially launched.

Users would then put in their Facebook login details and the malware would copy them and send them to its designated server.

It further revealed that the cyber criminals behind these fraudulent acts launched a new app every 11 days, which were then taken down after 17 days.

In its short period of listing on the Play Store, the apps gathered an average of 565,833 installs.

Furthermore, the hackers would add fraudulent codes to the app to avoid suspicion.

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The apps also contained DEX files in their APKs in the form of packers to avoid Google Play Store and researchers from detecting them.

Here is a list of the apps removed:

  • Yoriko Camera (1,00,000)
  • Solu Camera (5,00,000)
  • Lite Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Beauty Collage Lite (5,00,000)
  • Beauty and Filters camera (1 million)
  • Photo Collage and beauty camera (1,00,0000)
  • Gaty Beauty Camera (5,00,000)
  • Panda Selfie Beauty Camera (50,000)
  • Cartoon Photo Editor and Selfie Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Benbu Selfie Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Pinut Selfie Beauty and Photo Editor (1 million)
  • Mood Photo Editor and Selfie Beauty Camera (5,00,000)
  • Rose Photo Editor and Selfie Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Selfie Beauty Camera and Photo Editor (1,00,000)
  • Fog Selfie Beauty Camera (1,00,000)
  • First Selfie Beauty Camera and Photo Editor (5 million)
  • Vanu Selfie Beauty Camera (1,00,000)
  • Sun Pro Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Funny Sweet Beauty Camera (5,00,000)
  • Little Bee Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Beauty Camera and Photo Editor Pro (1 million)
  • Grass Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Ele Beauty Camera 1 million Flower Beauty Camera (1,00,000)
  • Best Selfie Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Orange Camera (5,00,000)
  • Sunny Beauty Camera (1 million)
  • Pro Selfie Beauty Camera (5,00,000)
  • Selfie Beauty Camera Pro (1 million)
  • Elegant Beauty Cam 2019 (50,000)

tag: Mobile Apps, Google, Cyber Security,


Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.