Google has never had the easiest time keeping malicious apps off its Google Play Store. Although the company is quick to remove and block offenders, the open nature of the store makes it easy for malware to keep slipping through the cracks.
On the plus side, Google’s moderation may not be as strict as Apple’s, but the Google Play Store has nothing on third-party app stores in terms of hidden malware. Tap or click here to see how a dangerous third-party store could lead to a malware infection.
But now a batch of Google Play malware has been discovered and it’s going beyond simply spamming users with ads or hiding their icons. Instead, these 25 malicious apps were caught red-handed stealing Facebook logins. We have the full list of apps to remove, as well as what you can do if you were affected.
Google removes 25 Facebook-phishing malware apps
According to new findings from French cybersecurity firm Evina, 25 separate Google Play Store apps were determined to be stealing Facebook login credentials without users realizing it.
The research, which was first shared with and reported by ZDNet, estimates that these apps were downloaded more than 2.34 million times collectively. This means that millions of people may have already gotten their Facebook login credentials stolen under their noses.
How did these apps manage to get this sensitive information? Why, users gave it up willingly, of course! These apps, despite appearing like ordinary games and wallpaper add-ons, open a browser window requiring a Facebook login. The user, if they’re not paying attention, may assume their Facebook account is required to use the app.
But that login page isn’t real. Instead, it’s part of a phishing platform that harvests the data and saves it to a database of stolen records.
Google has already taken the steps to remove the offending apps from Google Play. But if you’ve recently downloaded any new apps, you might want to peek through the list below to see if your account is at risk.
If you have any of the following apps on your device, delete them immediately:
I downloaded one of these apps and made the mistake of logging in. What can I do next?
If you were already caught up in this phishing scam, your Facebook information could be compromised. But you should still act quickly.
Hackers will often harvest the data and sit on it (unless they have a reason to start going through your information over all the other victims they’ve collected from). While you still can, your next best step is to change your Facebook password to something strong and optimizing your privacy settings. Tap or click here to see 10 Facebook settings to change now.
To change or reset your Facebook password from scratch, follow these steps:
To change your password on Facebook if you’re already logged in:
- Click downwards-pointing arrow in the top right of Facebook.
- Select Settings & Privacy > Settings.
- Click Security and Login.
- Click Edit next to Change password.
- Enter your current password and new password.
- Click Save Changes.
If you’re logged in but have forgotten your password, follow these steps: under Change Your Password then click Forgot your password?
- If you’re logged in, look under Change Your Password then click Forgot your password?
- If not, go to the Find Your Account Page.
- Type the email, mobile phone number, full name or username associated with your account, then click Search.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
While you’re at it, you’ll want to create a tough password that won’t be so easy for hackers to crack. This will at least give you peace of mind about aggressive hackers targeting you directly. When it comes to phishing, on the other hand, it’s up to you to stay vigilant. Tap or click here to see what it takes to create stronger passwords.
Then, be sure to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) as an added layer of account protection.
- First, go to your Security and Login settings.
- Scroll until you see Use two-factor authentication and click edit.
- Choose one of two security methods: A login code or text message (SMS) code.