Urgent Android Warning – the apps you should delete NOW that could damage your phone

AFTER Android’s dire warning, you should NOW delete these apps that could damage your phone, tinkerers say.

Worryingly, a new piece of malware called Dracarys can automatically click through and grant specific permissions—without the user noticing.

Android users must avoid these apps, experts warn

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Android users must avoid these apps, experts warnPhoto credit: Getty

Hackers have corrupted various apps to steal people’s information, warns Meta, which owns Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Android malware known as “Dracarys” has been found in fake versions of Telegram, WhatsApp, YouTube, and more recently Signal, a messaging app.

Meta said in a report this month that the malware “uses accessibility services.”

This is “a feature in the Android operating system to help users with disabilities automatically click through and grant specific permissions to the app without the user having to do it.”

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The threat is introduced via unofficial versions of YouTube, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp and custom chat applications.

Once accidentally downloaded, it is “able to access call logs, contacts, files, text messages, geolocation, device information, take photos, enable microphones, and install apps,” adds Meta.

And all the spying is done without the consent of the unsuspecting cell user.

An additional concern is that this “malware and its supporting
infrastructure was not detected by existing public antivirus systems,” said Meta.

The malware is used by the Bitter APT hacking group, which has reportedly targeted users from New Zealand, India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom so far.

For example, hackers created a phishing page that looks like a Signal download portal and uses the signalpremium domain[.]com to lure innocent people into their plan.

Since Signal’s source code is publicly available, the hacking group was able to create a version of the app that had all the usual features and expected functionality, so people wouldn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary.

The trick was that the hackers also injected the Dracarys malware into the code. Dracarys is a High Valyrian word translated as “dragon fire” in the hit series Game of Thrones.

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Since Signal’s source code is publicly available, the hacking group was able to create a version of the app that had all the usual features and expected functionality, so people wouldn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary.

The trick was that the hackers also injected the Dracarys malware into the code.

Through permission requests, which people probably only thought normal when setting up a messaging app, the hackers gained access to the user’s phone contact list, SMS, camera and microphone, as well as the precise location of their device.

The hackers could also read and write memory and make calls.

BE ALERT

The malware also hacks the Accessibility Service to automatically grant additional permissions and keeps running in the background regardless of whether the user closes the Signal app.

Dracarys can also gather a list of installed apps and various files, take screenshots from the device, record audio and upload the media to a server controlled by the hackers.

Bleeping Computer has suggested a few ways to avoid being hacked.

Be vigilant when downloading new apps and always use the official Google Play Store and not a third-party website.

When installing apps, pay attention to what permissions are requested.

Also, try monitoring your battery and internet data usage to see if anything is running in the background.

https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5992745/urgent-android-warning-apps-delete-break-phone/ Urgent Android Warning – the apps you should delete NOW that could damage your phone

Chris Barrese

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