Google Play hosts malware that offers click baits to users

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Google Play Store, a platform where android smart phone users can shop for apps, has hit the headlines for all wrong reasons.

According to a research carried out by Mobile security firm ZIMPERIUM, scammers targeted over 2.5 billion Google Android phone users last years to make millions through click-bait scams.

Cybersecurity Insiders has learnt that in such modus operandi of click-bait scam, the hackers hosted some 200 apps on Google Play Store and enticed the user from downloading them. After downloading, the user used to see a message pop-up on the app notifying users that they have won a prize such as an iPhone 13 and prompting them to enter their phone number to claim it.

And as soon as the user entered their contact number, a SMS message used to be delivered to the Android user that later used to be charged as $42 in their monthly bill, respectively.

Zimperium researchers state that the newly identified campaign was an Android Trojan attack named GriftHorse that started in Nov’2020 and was developed to target postpaid as well as prepaid mobile telecom users in over 70 countries, affecting over 10m Android users.

As soon as Google received an alert on the issue by Zimperium, it immediately processed to clean-up such apps that led to phishing or click-bait scams.

So, smart phone users are being urged to be aware of such scams that often spread through Messaging Apps, emails and SMSes. Therefore, online users should never post their contact details on social media sites, as they could be easily duped by various other cyber frauds.

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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