Google’s Play Store is no stranger to malware. For years, hackers have found ways to bypass Google’s security and sneak harmful apps onto the Play Store, infecting millions of mobile devices. For example, in September 2019, over 300 million Play Store users were affected by adware-laced apps.
Recently, researchers at Check Point discovered a new type of malware called ‘Tekya.’
The malware was found in 56 Android apps, which amassed nearly 1 million installs. Many of these apps were intended for children (such as games and puzzles), while the rest were utility apps including calculators, downloaders, and translators.
Infected apps helped criminals commit mobile ad fraud, and make money from mobile ad networks. This is how the scam operated: ‘Tekya’ fooled mobile ad networks into thinking legitimate users were clicking on ads. In reality, it was the adware generating fake clicks.
Despite Google’s efforts to secure their Play store, malicious apps are still finding their way in. Google removed the apps from the store, but you should still take steps to protect yourself.
With over 3 million apps on the store and hundreds of new apps being uploaded daily, it’s challenging for Google to catch everything. Nonetheless, Google’s Play Protect security is constantly improving, and it prevented nearly 2 billion malware installs in 2019.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
- Uninstall the infected application
- Install a security solution to prevent malware
- Update your device’s operating system
For more information on the malicious apps found on Google’s Play Store, visit Check Point Research.