Game guide malware 'targeted more than 500,000 users'

Game guide malware 'targeted more than 500,000 users'

App-based guides for games, including Fifa and Pokemon Go, were used to target more than 500,000 Android users with malware, a cyber-security company has said.

The apps, discovered on the Google Play Store, were designed to take control of devices before downloading malware.

Unwanted ads could then be displayed to users, for example, according to researchers at Check Point.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

More than 40 guide apps for popular games were found to be capable of delivering the malware to users' devices, Check Point said.


It is thought that the apps were downloaded between 528,000 and 1.8 million times, though it is not known how many of these downloads resulted in the deployment of malware.

"Since the actual apps do not contain any malicious code themselves, it's very hard to trace," said Daniel Padon, at Check Point.

He added that when Check Point had notified Google about the apps they had been removed.

But the researchers said that they continued to find more examples on the Play Store.


He said mobile botnets were becoming more common.

"We, other security vendors and Google have found different mobile botnets spreading via the Play Store," Mr Padon said.

"This is a hard thing to stop - it could have a devastating impact."

The approach could indeed be dangerous, agreed Nikolaos Chrysaidos at cyber-security firm Avast.

"At the moment, it seems like the cyber-criminals behind the threat are only interested in making money from ads," he said.

"The threat currently has very basic functionalities [...] However, there is nothing stopping the threat from becoming more sophisticated in the future."



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
'Aging in place' tech helps seniors live in their home longer

'Aging in place' tech helps seniors live in their home longer..

24-Jun, 09:24

Home-based tech tools can be far less expensive than moving into an...

Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote takes relationship with model boyfriend George Alsford to the NEXT LEVEL with tear-jerking wedding photo

Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote takes relationship with model boyfriend George..

24-Jun, 09:01

Georgia May Foote has pledged her 'love' for boyfriend George Alsford in...

Jo Cox MP honoured with Commons plaque

Jo Cox MP honoured with Commons plaque..

24-Jun, 11:00

A coat of arms to honour murdered MP Jo Cox has been unveiled in...

London tower block residents 'must leave' says council

London tower block residents 'must leave' says council..

25-Jun, 05:56

The government plans to examine cladding from up to 600 blocks and so...

American held in Iran released on bail amid 18-year sentence

American held in Iran released on bail amid 18-year sentence..

03-Apr, 23:20

An Iranian-American serving an 18-year prison sentence in Iran for...

Markets Right Now: Early gain for stocks fades at midday

Markets Right Now: Early gain for stocks fades at midday..

17-Mar, 13:08

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local): 12:00...

Trump says he's keeping Dr. Francis Collins as NIH director

Trump says he's keeping Dr. Francis Collins as NIH director..

06-Jun, 18:25

President Donald Trump says he's keeping Dr. Francis Collins as director...

George Clooney's dad shares details about the twins

George Clooney's dad shares details about the twins..

07-Jun, 13:12

Just two hours after George and Amal Clooney welcomed twins Alexander and...