Hundreds of malicious apps are showing up on the Google Play Store, disguised as legitimate applications.
Authored by a Symantec employee
Hundreds of malicious apps are showing up on the Google Play Store, disguised as legitimate applications. These malicious apps are carrying malware known as Dresscode. Dresscode is designed to infiltrate networks and steal data. It can also add infected devices to a Botnet, which is capable of carrying out denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as well as taking part in spam email campaigns.
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Dresscode can also threaten home networks. If a device infected with Dresscode comes in contact with a network where the router has a weak password, it can crack the password and then infect other devices on the network, including IoT connected home devices.
Dresscode initially appeared in the Google Play Store around April 2016, and since then it has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. It disguises itself as well known, popular games, phone layout themes, phone utility apps and more.
While this app is being distributed through the Google Play Store, it has been distributed at a much higher rate in non-official app stores.
How to Stay Protected:
Use Mobile Security Software
While having a good education about mobile threats can take you a long way, it can only get you so far. A good mobile Internet security suite such as Norton Mobile Security will have detections in place for this malware, and will halt it in its tracks before it reaches your device.
Only Download Apps from Official App Stores
It’s always best practice to download apps from official app stores, however, when downloading an app, be sure to exercise caution first.
Always read app reviews. If a highly rated app has few written reviews, that is a red flag. Oftentimes, if there is a problem with the app, users will comment on what the issue is.
Examine the app description carefully. Take a look at who the developer is, the quality of the graphics and logos and also grammar and spelling issues. A slight misspelling or rewording of the app’s name can help you spot counterfeit apps. If anything looks out of place, think twice before downloading.
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