Cybercriminals are always expanding their methods of attack. While much of their operations still focus on phishing emails and scam text messages, many have also incorporated malicious apps into their arsenal.
Many of these apps are found on the Google Play Store. A new crop of apps that security researchers have now discovered harbor malware. And it can have devastating consequences for anybody who installed them.
The trick to many of these apps is that they seem to be innocent or harmless. But security company Zimperium has determined that the apps will steal personal details and hijack your social media accounts in the blink of an eye.
Here’s the backstory
Cybercriminals developed several apps that claim to give you Netflix coupon codes or Google AdWords coupons to be more appealing to potential victims. One app is a simple questionnaire surrounding the ongoing UEFA Champions League in Europe.
But what Zimperium found is that the apps can hijack your Facebook accounts through a Trojan dubbed FlyTrap, infecting your Android phone.
Data the malicious apps steal include your Facebook ID, your location, email address and IP address. Some collect cookies or tokens associated with your Facebook account.
The malware is then spread through your social media account, sending malicious links through private messages to your contacts. In a never-ending cycle, the malware is passed on from one Facebook user to the next. Your WhatsApp and Instagram accounts can also be hijacked through this nasty malware.
Delete these malicious apps ASAP
Going by several different names, the team at Zimperium highlighted a handful of identifiers that the cybercriminals have used. The apps in question ask you to log in to your Facebook account to continue with the sports survey or claim your Netflix coupons.
The malicious apps are:
- com.luxcarad.cardid : GG Voucher
- com.free_coupon.gg_free_coupon : GG Coupon Ads
- com.m_application.app_moi_6 : GG Voucher Ads
- com.free.voucher : GG Voucher
- com.gardenguides.plantingfree : Vote European Football
- com.ynsuper.chatfuel : Chatfuel
- Com.free_coupon.net_coupo n : Net Coupon
- com.movie.net_coupon : Net Coupon
- com.euro2021 : EURO 2021 Official
The malware has been called FlyTrap, as it is tough to escape its clutches once your Android phone has been infected. Zimperium warns that users shouldn’t fall for the “high-quality graphics and official-looking login screens” as hackers use these tactics to hide their true purpose.
Once you log into your Facebook account, the app might have seemingly normal functionality. But in the background, the malicious code is working hard to hijack the session information and send it to a remote server.
Thankfully the apps have already been removed by Google. But that doesn’t mean that the apps aren’t still available. Many third-party app stores host Android applications, and this poses a real danger to users.
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