Android apps on Google Play Store are found to include Windows malware

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -

Google Play Store apps are found infected with Windows malware

Google Play Store Android programs include Windows malware

According to the recent blog post of the Palo Alto Networks,[1] they found around 145 apps published on Google Play Store[2] that are infected with malware. What surprises the most is that these apps are infected with the Windows viruses. Infected apps include various APK files and executables that do not pose any harm to Android devices. At the moment, these apps are removed from the store by Google.

As the research has revealed, such content has been hiding in the official Google Play Store for approximately half a year. During this time, people had been actively downloading apps with damaging content to their Android devices. Recently, experts noticed around 1000 downloads made by users from around the world and some of them even received four-star reviews!

Instead of harming Android[3] devices, such apps initiate their damaging activity when they are opened on a Windows PC. Corrupted apps are filled with multiple PE files which have a purpose of creating executables and hiding various components in the Windows system folders. Furthermore, the infection might modify the Windows Registry section[4] and force the PC to restart automatically. Also, it can connect the infected computer to a certain IP address in order to receive instructions on further actions that should be performed on the infected system.

Android devices stay safe this time

A particular research shows that this malware does not affect Android users. However, if harmful content manages to break through a Windows OS computer and is activated by accident, the damage will be very hard to recover. Even though harmful files can run on Android devices, they can affect Windows users only.

Palo Alto Networks claims that Google is already aware of the fact that a certain type of malware is hiding in the Google Play Store. However, experts still haven't found the way how this infection managed to infiltrate the store and harm so many users as the apps usually are installed only on Android devices. 

In some cases, people might think that someone just tried to insert a virus straight into the Google Play Store. Despite this fact, we cannot decline the possibility that such apps were infected accidentally, without any notice, while their developers were coding certain files.

The need for protecting computers and devices from sneaky malware is real

The Internet keeps changing and malware does the same. There are numerous applications, sites, and techniques that can lead you to malware installed on your device without any notice. This example illustrates the fact that people should be more cautious while downloading various software, even if they use such well know software providers are Google Play Store. 

It does not matter if you are an Android, Mac, or Windows user. The myth that Macs are immune to malware is far gone.[5] There is a big number of serious viruses and infections that can easily get into any device or machine. We are out of notice what can come next, so better stay protected all the time – install reputable anti-virus, do regular system scans and check every program or file that you are letting inside your system.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

Ugnius Kiguolis is a professional malware analyst who is also the founder and the owner of 2-Spyware. At the moment, he takes over as Editor-in-chief.

Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
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