Four malware-laden apps could COST you money, experts warn — here’s what you need to know

APPS preinstalled with malicious malware have reportedly made their way into the Google Play Store by moderators.

Android users should be on high alert for toll fraud.

A small batch of malware infiltrates the Google Play Store


A small batch of malware infiltrates the Google Play StorePhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

A cybersecurity firm has flagged four apps as fronts for scammers trying to gain access to your phone.

Hacker developers have hidden lines of malicious software in the applications’ scripts that allow them to sign up for premium services on your behalf while getting a discount.

More than 100,000 users were reportedly infected.

If you have downloaded Smart SMS Messages, Blood Pressure Monitor, Voice Languages ​​Translator or Quick Text SMS from Google Play Store, take action and delete them immediately.

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Toll fraud scammers stuff an Android phone with a malware program that autonomously scans the web for subscription services and bills the unsuspecting user for them.

If necessary, hackers will cover their tracks by intercepting one-time passwords so the victim doesn’t know that another subscription has been added to their bill.

Pradeo, a cybersecurity firm, wrote in a blog, “Victims don’t realize the scam until they get their phone bill, possibly weeks after it starts.”

Google and cybersecurity companies have worked together to remove infected apps.

FastCompany reported that there are ways to evade a potentially dangerous download.

“Check out the developer’s account. If he only has one app, proceed with extreme caution. (Once an app is banned, the hacker simply opens a new developer account.)”

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The vulnerability dissected by Pradeo is a descendant of long-running toll fraud software called Joker.

The company said the hack was designed to use very little code to minimize detection. Four malware-laden apps could COST you money, experts warn — here’s what you need to know

Chris Barrese

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