Android Applications in Google Play Store Capitalize on Coronavirus Breakout
By Yash Kudal
The continuing coronavirus breakout is becoming an opportunity for attackers to introduce variety of malware attacks, phishing, and build scam sites and malicious tracker applications.
Now in a new trend, third-party Android app developers have started using this scenario to use coronavirus-related keywords in their application names, descriptions, or package names and to insert a malware, steal financial information and rank at the top in the Google Store search related to the subject.
“Many applications are a major menace from ransomware to sms sending malware, and spyware developed to clear victim’s content from the devices to gain personal and financial information” Bitdefender investigators stated
As people continue to seek more information on COVID-19, malware authors have migrated to adware, bank trojans such as anubis, cerberus, joker with live tracker applications and those that help users identification for symptoms of illness.
“As of January 1, 2020, there are 579 applications containing coronavirus-related keywords” stated the investigators.
In addition, other apps such as Bubble Shooter Merge and Galaxy Shooter have changed their name on coronavirus pandemic by adding keywords to rank higher when people search for coronavirus in the Play store.
How Can You Protect Yourself ?
All of these attacks have led to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issuing warnings about escalating Coronavirus-themed scams, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue fraudulent warnings of phishing frauds mimicking their organization.
To protect from such threats, it is always recommended that users install only apps in the official market, search for information only from legitimate sources, and be aware of any emails trying to get recipients to open attachments or click links.