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Friday, 01 September 2017 09:09

Google acted on malware after thousands infected: claim


Researchers from Slovakian security firm ESET claim that nearly 70,000 Android devices were infected with malware that was used to make up a botnet named WireX before Google reacted and removed the affected software from its Play Store.

The search giant removed about 300 apps from the store after learning that these apps were being hijacked and used for distributed denial of service attacks.

ESET says it warned its followers on social media about the malware in early August.

It said that Google only started removing the apps after becoming aware of the attacks.

ESET quoted Google as saying: "We identified approximately 300 apps associated with the issue, blocked them from the Play Store, and we’re in the process of removing them from all affected devices.

“The researchers’ findings, combined with our own analysis, have enabled us to better protect Android users, everywhere."

ESET said one of its detection engineers, Lukas Stefanko, was the first to notice the malware 20 days before the apps were removed from the store.

"We detected this infiltration as Android/HiddenApp and Android/Clickerand, plus we were one of the first to disclose this threat and how to get rid of it,” Stefanko said.

ESET said he had immediately reported the issue to Google.  

“Once I discovered this threat we immediately informed users through our social networks to be aware of these malicious apps and with instructions how to uninstall them,"Stefanko said.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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