Menu
Android root malware widespread in third-party app stores

Android root malware widespread in third-party app stores

Users should be cautious when downloading from app stores other than Google Play

Four third-party app stores for Android have apps with a malicious component that seeks root access to devices, according to Trend Micro.

The security company found 1,163 Android application packages containing the malware, which it calls ANDROIDOS_ LIBSKIN.A, wrote Jordan Pan, a mobile threats analyst with Trend. The malware obtains root access to the phone, the highest level of access and privilege.

The apps containing the component were downloaded across 169 countries between January 29 and February 1 from marketplaces called Aptoide, Mobogenie, mobile9 and 9apps.

"We have already contacted these stores and informed them about these threats, but as of this writing, we have yet to receive any confirmation from their end," Pan wrote.

Security experts have long advised that people steer away from third-party apps stores, which may not have the same quality control as Google's Play store. Google vets the apps that are allowed on its store, although malicious ones sometimes slip in.

The malicious component found by Trend is wrapped into legitimate applications, such as games or music streaming apps. The malware can download other apps to a phone without a user's knowledge, Pan wrote.

"These secretly downloaded apps will then present themselves as ads luring users to download other apps from time to time," he wrote. "It can also be used to collect user data."

When pop-up ads begin appearing, it's not clear to the phone's user what app is generating the ads.

"The popups lure users into clicking unwanted apps," Pan wrote. "Clicking on the ads may not necessarily lead the user to the respective app or site."

The malware also collects a variety of data, including the device ID, network, other apps that are running on the device and more.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitymalwareAndroidPCtrend microGoogle Play

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments