Google App turns into malware for many on Smart Phones

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The Google app and its synchronized applications, including Maps and Gmail, offer a world of possibilities to users. However, a peculiar situation has arisen, with certain smartphones identifying the Google app as potential malware and warning users against its usage.

This may sound bizarre, but it’s a fact. Users of Huawei, Vivo, and Honor phones have reported encountering a security threat notification when attempting to open the Google app. These devices are urging their users to uninstall the app due to its classification as a “Trojan SMS-PA” malware.

Remarkably, phones running their respective operating systems, with the exception of Vivo, are flagging the application developed by the American tech giant as a high-risk threat. When examining the threat details, the alert suggests that the Google Application is surreptitiously sending SMS messages, seemingly luring users into paying for explicit services.

From a technical perspective, this situation is a false positive, and it has extended to other applications under Alphabet Inc’s subsidiary, such as YouTube.

To delve into the context, both Honor and Huawei have a history of being banned during the tenure of former US President Donald Trump. This was because these phone manufacturers, closely tied to the Republic of China, were considered a potential national security threat, as they were suspected of transmitting misinformation to foreign servers, albeit discreetly.

The inclusion of Vivo in this controversial situation remains a mystery.

However, when this issue gained traction in various Android communities, Google clarified that the security alerts were being generated by devices lacking certification related to Google Play Protect. It is crucial for device manufacturers to provide an explanation for this error and potentially issue an app virus definition update within the next few days.

In the meantime, users can disable this false alarm by clearing the cache data through Settings > Apps > Optimizer > App Info > Storage tab or simply wait for the next 24 hours to get the latest updates.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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