Consumer Alert Issued For Android Users
Are you an Android user? If you are, keep reading because this could definitely impact you in a big way. There is a new consumer alert being issued to all Android owners after it was discovered that a bunch of different apps were actually a disguise for a new type of malware that signs users up for paid subscriptions without their consent.
According to a new report, there are almost twenty different apps that are actually malware in disguise. This particular malware is called "Fleckpe" and it has been disguised as photo and video editing apps, which are popular on smartphones these days. The malware is also disguised in apps like smartphone wallpaper packs, health-related apps or even basic text messaging apps.
These fake phone apps have been downloaded more than half-a-million times from Google Play, which is where Android users get their phone apps from. While all of these types of apps may seem harmless, these in particular are dangerous in that they sign you up for a paid subscription without alerting the owner of the phone.
Most Android users don't even notice they have been charged for a subscription until it is too late or until they have been charged. Even if you do catch it and cancel said subscription, these malware apps still have your personal and banking information. While the apps in question have since been deleted from Google Play, you may still have one on your phone or there may be new ones that haven't been identified yet.
The good news is that if you are an iPhone user, you are not at risk, as Apple issued a security update when this malware was discovered. Android users are more susceptible to this type of thing because Android is an "open-source" program, while Apple products are not.
If you're wondering how this even happens or how hackers are able to target Android apps, Malwarefox.com describes it best in simple terms:
Cybercriminals download ordinary apps from Google Play, add malicious code to them, and then submit the modified versions to Google Play with a new name.
So far, nineteen different apps have been linked to this cybersecurity scam, including the following:
- Fare Gamehub and Box
- Hope Camera-Picture Record
- Same Launcher and Live Wallpaper
- Cool Emoji Editor and Sticker
- Amazing Wallpaper
- Simple Note Scanner
- Universal PDF Scanner
- Private Messenger
- Premium SMS
- Blood Pressure Checker
- Cool Keyboard
- Paint Art
- Color Message
- Vlog Star Video Editor
- Creative 3D Launcher
- Wow Beauty Camera
- GIF Emoji Keyboard
- Instant Heart Rate Anytime
- Delicate Messenger
Be careful out there, especially with any apps or any forms of social media. There are so many scams these days and it is likely more malware scams like this will pop up in the future. Always be cautious of what you are downloading on your phone. Sigh.