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The malware dubbed by Sophos Andr/Clickr-AD comes with the potential of harming the infected phones and tablets seeing that they will drain both the battery and the bandwidth of the Android devices while receiving commands from the bad actors behind them.
It's happened again. Another batch of apps that exhibit malicious behavior has been found and pulled from the Google Play store - but not before they were downloaded more than 2 million times.
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If you are one of those tech-savvy guys who love to try every app there on Google Play store, then your mobile and data may just be at risk. "Instead, malicious ad calls are made in a hidden browser window, inside of which the app simulates a user interaction with the advertisement". Beginning around March of this year, Sparkle Flashlight and two other apps were updated to add the secret downloader.
The biggest worry as far as the users of these apps are concerned is not only the battery consumption due to continuous running of the app in the background, but also the fact that the devices are held hostage to attacker- controller servers which can install harmful files as and when they wish. Google terminates this support because, the use of devices running this version of Android is less than 1%. Second (and more importantly), the false labeling gave the impression the ads were being clicked on by a much larger number of devices. The apps checked for new ad commands as often as every 80 seconds and checked for new module downloads as often as every 10 minutes. The search engine pulled down these apps after Sophos, a cyber security company that makes security apps wrote a blog post about them. Google representatives didn't respond to an email asking about this. And reaction to this news will likely include criticism that Google doesn't do a good enough job securing its app marketplace.