Beware: clever Android malware bypassed security researchers with trick

Android malwareSecurity researchers have discovered a new Android malware motion sensor in the Play Store, which uses a very special trick to bypass detection. The dangerous app was not enabled until your phone moved.

For example, Android malware used a motion sensor

Although Google checks all Android apps before they are in the Play Store, some malware regularly creeps through. Usually, the app is quickly removed as soon as Google detects the virus. In this case, the developers of the malware have used a very special trick to bypass Google, the security researchers from Trend Micro report.

This virus is hidden in seemingly innocent apps but is only activated once your device is in motion. Usually, Google and other researchers do not use real Android smartphones, but emulators to test apps. They are never moved, so the virus was never activated during the test.

Fake update notificationmotion sensor

After the virus was activated, users were shown a counterfeit update report. This update looked identical to official update notifications and promised users new features for their Android smartphone. By pressing ‘Install update’ the malware was downloaded and activated.

The malware was specifically aimed at looking at bank apps. Anubis, as the malware was called, tried to collect log-in data from bank-apps and forward it to hackers. In addition, the malware had access to the contacts, camera, microphone and storage space of the affected users. The virus allowed itself the permissions to send text messages and call numbers in the background.

5000 users affected

This specific malware was discovered in two apps: BatterySaverMobi and Currency Converter. Both apps had collectively no more than 5000 downloads and have since been removed by Google from the Play Store. It is unknown whether they have also been downloaded by Dutch users.

Google claims that it does everything it can to keep the Play Store safe, with initiatives such as  Play Protect. Yet dangerous apps regularly appear. Knowing more? Also, read our tips on  recognizing and removing dangerous Android apps

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