For those who are unsure, malware is an abbreviated term for ‘malicious software’, software specifically created to enter or damage a device without the user knowing; often stealing personal information on the way.

Malware creation is on the rise due to the profitability it generates for criminals. BYOD (bring your own device) plans could also be a factor in this increase, as the merging of personal and business information on one device makes malware much more profitable for criminals to invest in. After all, stealing confidential information from the managing director of any company would be priceless.

This particular infection on Google play displays advertisements in the form of a warning message to users when they unlock their phones. The warning message tells users that their device is running slow and that they need to install new software to correct the problem. If the steps are followed the malware then downloads a variety of other illegitimate applications.

Here are some of the warnings that users have witnessed:

google play

One of the infected applications is the popular card game ‘Durak’, which has been downloaded up to 10 million times. Other applications thought to be infected consist of a Russian language IQ test (downloaded up to five million times) and a Russian history application (downloaded up to 50,000 times). Google has now blocked access to this application, but to date there is no further information on how many devices or applications have been infected.

Official Avast spokesperson, malware analyst Filip Chytry said: “You get re-directed to harmful threats on fake pages, like dubious app stores and apps that attempt to send premium SMS behind your back or to apps that simply collect too much of your data for comfort while offering you no additional value.”

The malware does not take affect straightaway, often showing popups over seven days after being installed. It is reported that all infected applications have now been blocked, however, Google is yet to make a further update.

If you want more information on how to protect your devices, contact a Cloud specialist at virtualDCS, today.

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