Google removes 145 Apps from the Play Store In Response To Mobile App Security Threat


By Al | Last Updated on August 29th, 2018 9:44 am

App Builder Appy Pie: No less than 145 apps were removed from Google Play Store as malicious files were found to be infecting them. These malicious files were Windows executable which means that WindowsWindows App Builder
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devices particularly were at a great risk!

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, it is bound to raise a few urgent flags even when it is as lenient a platform as Google Play Store.

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Palo Alto Networks, the network security company reported that though there were infected APK files on the 145 mobile apps, they did not pose any kind of threat to the AndroidHow to Create an Android App without coding Online with this Free Android App Builder
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devices. This is because the malicious files that were embedded in the apps run only on Windows devices. This also means that the danger still looms large on the Windows devices and the entire software ecosystem.

The California based network security company did mention that these kinds of infections are a big threat to the entire software supply chain. In the past, we have witnessed massive attacks brought to fruition by compromising software developers.

Are there any security risks from infected apps?

Of the infected Android apps, most were published on Google Play StoreHow to Improve Your App’s Ranking?
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between the months of October & November in the year 2017. What is concerning is that many of these already had more than 1,000 installations and even had four-star ratings!

There also is a fair bit of speculation among the researchers that these apps were infected with Windows malware because these apps were built on Windows machines that were compromised. According to Palo Alto Networks, the APK files in the infected Android apps might include several malicious PE (Portable Executable) files.

The severity of this breach may be better understood by the fact that one of the malicious files found in most of the infected apps included a keylogger that has the ability to capture keystrokes and thus steal all sorts of sensitive information including phone numbers, passwords, and credit card information.

This infection can further be spread by the malware if the infected APK file was ever to be unpacked on a Window machine and the PE files were executed accidentally. The matters can further be complicated and they can become particularly difficult to contain if the developers issue Windows based software or if they were infected with malicious files running on Android platforms.

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What can developers or organizations do to enhance mobile app security?

Now, Google has already pulled all the infected apps off of the Play Store, but they had been on the platform for quite a while, which means there are quite a few companies and individuals who have already downloaded these apps.

As a ground rule, it is important that you, as an organization make it a practice to patch the operating systems and applications with the newest fixes and make sure that your anti-virus software are updated as soon as they are released.

You must have your security team scrutinize the infected apps and look for Indicators of Compromise or IoCs. It might also be a good idea to block all URL and IP-based IoCs using any suitable measure like routers, firewalls, web gateways, IDSs, or other perimeter-based devices.

About The Author
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Al, Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder of Appy Pie has over 11 years of progressive experience in Startups, SAAS, digital marketing, mobile app, and website development industry. Apart from handling clients, Al also keeps a track of latest technologies revolutionizing the website and mobile app development industry, and pens down his research for Appy Pie Blog. In his spare time Al likes to catch-up on his reading, keeping himself abreast of the latest technological innovations, and meet interesting people.

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