Criminals spread malware by getting Android users to install fake versions of popular apps

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Cyber ​​security company Bitdefender points out that one thing that sets the Google Play Store apart from the App Store is the problem for Android users as well. Although both Apple and Google to collect up to a 30 percent cut in in-app revenue from in-app payment platforms, iOS users will be forced to make in-app purchases through Apple because Apple is preventing developers from offering an alternative payment platform.
Epic offered its customers an alternative payment platform that violates Apple’s rules. That’s why Epic’s big hit Fortnite was separated from the App Store.

TeaBot malware can take complete control of Android devices

Unlike App Store customers, Android users are not technically forced to make in-app purchases through Google. This is because the Play Store is not a fenced garden, like the App Store, and Google allows Android users to download pages from apps from a third-party app store. However, criminals trick Android users into using such third-party app stores, Android users install apps that are unlikely to be properly inspected, leading to the spread of malware.

Bitdefender cites two new banker-Trojan malware called TeaBot and Flubot, which help trick Android users into installing what they think are legitimate apps from popular and well-known brands, but turn out to be infected with malware. Bitdefender recently discovered five new malicious Android apps that contain the TeaBot Trojan and mimic legitimate Android apps that are popular with at least one app installed more than 50 million times.

A cybersecurity company found that infected TeaBot applications used fake Ad Blocker applications to spread malware. Counterfeit apps ask permission to show other apps, display notifications, and install apps outside of the Play Store. Once these applications are installed, their icons will be hidden.

Make no mistake. TeaBot has the potential to do serious damage, such as “duplicate attacks through Android Accessibility Services, intercept messages, perform various key lock functions, steal Google authentication codes, and even take full control of Android devices.”

Although TeaBot is dropped by an application that pretends to be an ad blocker, Flubot is distributed via SMS spam and, according to Bitdefender, “It steals banking, contact, SMS and other types of private information from infected devices while using an arsenal of other available commands. including the ability to send text messages with content provided by the CnC. “

Flubot emulates broadcast applications such as DHL Express Mobile, which has more than a million installations from the Google Play Store, Fedex with more than 5 million Android installations, and Correos with more than 500,000 downloads.

There is a real way to protect yourself from this malware infecting your phone. Bitdefender suggests that you never, ever download applications to your device. In other words, hold on to the App Store and Google Play Store when installing apps on your iOS and Android devices. Also, never tap links in messages and “always be aware of Android app rights.”

Flubot is distributed via text messages

Counterfeit applications with a TeaBot payload are designed to look real, although some of them have small changes to the label name and icon. For example, the actual version of the streaming TV app Pluto TV has a sticker that reads “Pluto TV – it’s free TV.” The fake and infected version of the app has no space between Pluto and TV and reads “PlutoTV”.

Nearly 93% of fake apps trying to distribute TeaBot come from an app called MediaPlayer that tries to emulate one of the most popular titles in the Google Play Store, VLC. The latter is a “free and open source multi-platform multimedia player” with over 100 million installations. Notice the big difference in the icon between the clean and infected versions of the app.

79.5% of Teabot malware has been found in Spain, 11.18% has been distributed in Italy and 4.6% in the Netherlands.

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