Apps with 5.8 million Google Play downloads stole users’ Facebook passwords

Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures

Google has given the boot to 9 Android apps downloaded greater than 5.8 million occasions from the corporate’s Play marketplace after researchers mentioned these apps used a sneaky method to steal customers’ Fb login credentials.

In a bid to win customers’ belief and decrease their guard, the apps offered absolutely functioning providers for picture modifying and framing, train and coaching, horoscopes, and removing of junk recordsdata from Android units, in line with a post revealed by safety agency Dr. Internet. The entire recognized apps supplied customers an choice to disable in-app advertisements by logging into their Fb accounts. Customers who selected the choice noticed a real Fb login kind containing fields for getting into usernames and passwords.

Then, as Dr. Internet researchers wrote:

These trojans used a particular mechanism to trick their victims. After receiving the mandatory settings from one of many C&C servers upon launch, they loaded the official Fb internet web page into WebView. Subsequent, they loaded JavaScript obtained from the C&C server into the identical WebView. This script was immediately used to hijack the entered login credentials. After that, this JavaScript, utilizing the strategies offered by way of the JavascriptInterface annotation, handed stolen login and password to the trojan purposes, which then transferred the information to the attackers’ C&C server. After the sufferer logged into their account, the trojans additionally stole cookies from the present authorization session. These cookies have been additionally despatched to cybercriminals.

Evaluation of the malicious applications confirmed that all of them obtained settings for stealing logins and passwords of Fb accounts. Nonetheless, the attackers might have simply modified the trojans’ settings and commanded them to load the net web page of one other official service. They may have even used a very faux login kind positioned on a phishing website. Thus, the trojans might have been used to steal logins and passwords from any service.

Dr. Internet

The researchers recognized 5 malware variants stashed contained in the apps. Three of them have been native Android apps, and the remaining two used Google’s Flutter framework, which is designed for cross-platform compatibility. Dr. Internet mentioned that it classifies all of them as the identical trojan as a result of they use equivalent configuration file codecs and equivalent JavaScript code to steal consumer information.

Dr. Internet recognized the variants as:

Nearly all of the downloads have been for an app referred to as PIP Photo, which was accessed greater than 5.8 million occasions. The app with the subsequent biggest attain was Processing Photo, with greater than 500,000 downloads. The remaining apps have been:

A search of Google Play exhibits that every one apps have been faraway from Play. A Google spokesman mentioned that the corporate has additionally banned the builders of all 9 apps from the shop, which means they won’t be allowed to submit new apps. That’s the fitting factor for Google to do, but it surely nonetheless poses solely a minimal hurdle for the builders as a result of they’ll merely join a brand new developer account underneath a special identify for a one-time price of $25.

Anybody who has downloaded one of many above apps ought to completely look at their system and their Fb accounts for any indicators of compromise. Downloading a free Android antivirus app from a recognized safety agency and scanning for added malicious apps isn’t a foul concept, both. The offering from Malwarebytes is my favourite.

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