More than 50 Android apps have been found to contain dangerous malware - here’s the full list

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 12:45 pm
Updated Monday, 13th April 2020, 2:30 pm

Tech researchers have discovered 56 malicious Android apps that can compromise personal data.

Security researchers at Check Point have uncovered a malicious software hidden in several Android apps, which jeopardize the user’s personal data, such as credentials, emails, text messages, and geographical location.

The malicious apps, which have been cleverly designed to look typical and harmless to dupe the user, have been downloaded by almost one million people from the Google Play Store, on smartphones and tablets.

In a statement made on its website, Check Point claims the “vulnerability impacts phones from Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Sony”.

How does the malware work?

Malware called ‘Tekya’ is present within these apps, and is designed to commit mobile ad fraud by accessing a user’s clicking habits, location, text messages, while using the ‘MotionEvent’ feature in Android devices - which was introduced in 2019 - in order to click on app adverts which seem relevant to the user. This generates an illegitimate profit for the app creators.

The adverts being targeted, without the knowledge of the user, are from agencies such as Google’s AdMob, Facebook, AppLovin’ and Unity. They also swarm the user’s device with several pop-up ads, while the user is not using the app.

All of this extra activity can damage the performance of an Android device and drain its battery life.

What types of apps contained the malware?

Researchers for Check Point stated, "This campaign cloned legitimate popular applications to gain an audience, mostly with children, as most application covers for the malware are children’s games.”

Specifically, 24 out of the 56 apps named as hazardous in their latest report were targeted at children.

These apps disguised themselves as puzzle or racing games, while the remaining 32 apps consisted of utility and productivity apps, such as calculators, weather apps, document scanners and translators, as well as cooking apps.

You can find the full list of offending apps at the end of this article.

How did the malware go undetected?

Tekya obscures the app’s code in order to avoid detection by Google’s malware scanner, Google Play Protect.

By clicking on relevant adverts and by hijacking the ‘MotionEvent’ feature - introduced in Android devices in 2019 - this also helps the malware’s activities to go undetected.

In a statement on their website, Check Point said, "Although Google has taken steps to secure its Play store and stop malicious activity, hackers are still finding ways to infiltrate the app store and access users’ devices.”

How do I get rid of this malware?

All of these infected applications have now been removed from Google Play, to prevent further downloads, however the apps will remain on your phone until you delete them manually.

Which apps are causing the problems?

The following apps have been listed by researchers as containing the malicious malware:

Raceinspace Astronaut

Cooking

Letmego

Biscuitent

Aquawar

Dressup

Translator

Travel Map

Withu Translate

24h Translate

Stickman Runner Parkour

Best Translate Tool

Littlefarm

Bestcalculate Multifunction

Folding Blocks Origami Mandala

Goldencat Hillracing

Hexadom

Ichinyan Fashion

Major Cookingstar

Major Zombie

Fastdownloader

Carstiny

Stickman Warrior

Biscuit

Splashio

Translate

Unblock Car Puzzle

Delicious Recipes

Multi Translate Threeinone

Pro Translator

Snap Translate

Smart Language Translate

Best Translate

Jewel Block Puzzle2019

Magic Cuble Blast Puzzle

Imgdownloader

Instant Translate

Besttranslate

Breaktower

Spaceship

Michimocho Video Downloader

Fortuneteller Tarotreading Horo

Titan Block Flip

Mcmc Ebook Reader

Swift Jungle Translate

Happycooking

Mcmccalculator Free

Tapsmore Challenge

Yummily Healthy Recipes

Hexamaster

Twmedia Downloader

Burningman

Amazingkitchen

Wego Translate

Arplanner Sketchplan

Arsketch Quickplan

Livetranslate

Calculatepro

Smart Tools Pro

Titanyan Igsaver

Digiv Weather Radar

Titan Translator

Artech Helpful

Armeasure Translate