More than a million Android users have been tricked into downloading dangerous apps listed on the Google Play Store. Security experts at Malwarebytes have discovered malicious software containing malware that directs unsuspecting users to phishing websites designed to steal sensitive, personal data. Thankfully, these four apps have since been removed from the Google Play Store – but if you downloaded them before they were removed then you need to remove them from your Android device ASAP.
The offending apps are all released by a developer called ‘Mobile Apps Team’ whose official website is – at the time of writing – inaccessible.
The most popular app this developer has released on the Play Store is called Bluetooth Auto Connect, which was released back in October 2020 and downloaded over a million times.
Other offending apps are Bluetooth App Sender, Mobile transfer: smart switch and Driver: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB.
One way these apps manage to avoid detection by the Android security system is by delaying the deployment of malicious behavior.
For the first few days after installing these apps, nothing seems undesirable, but after that, spam phishing sites start appearing on the victim’s device.
At first, these sites don’t seem too worrisome, but over time they become more insidious.
Malwarebytes explains: “After the initial delay period, the malicious app opens phishing sites in Chrome. The content of various phishing sites – some of which are harmless, is simply used. to generate pay-per-click and others are more dangerous phishing sites that try to trick gullible users.For example, a site that includes adult content leads to phishing pages. let users know they are infected or need to do an update.
“Chrome tabs are opened in the background even when the mobile device is locked. When a user unlocks their device, Chrome opens with the latest web page. A new tab frequently opens with a new tab. new website and as a result your phone will unlock after a few hours which means many tabs closed. The user’s browser history will also be a long list of nasty phishing sites.”
While these apps no longer appear on the Google Play Store, anyone who downloaded them will need to remove the app to keep their Android device safe.
Here’s how you can delete apps you downloaded from the Play Store on your Android device…
Open the Google Play Store app
At the top right, tap the profile icon
Tap Manage apps and devices. Manage
Tap the name of the app you want to delete