Why Google removed these 9 apps from the Play Store?

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Google is quite strict about security. However, sometimes, malicious applications find their way to breach it. The same happened with these 9 apps and which doesn’t happen quite frequently. Recently, Google removed these 9 apps from the Play Store due to suspicious activities. The tech giant has found that all these apps stole the Facebook login credentials of the users.

According to reports, all these apps used to offer legitimate services and were downloaded numerous times by users. In fact, one of these apps had more than 5 million downloads. Nonetheless, Google removed all of these malicious applications with immediate effect.

This issue was brought into light by the security researchers at Dr. Web, a company that made antivirus software. The published an article that stated that the malware applications used a special mechanism to trick the users to acquire their Facebook user details such as IDs and passwords.

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DrWeb explained that the apps lured users into disabling in-app advertisements while asking permission to link their Facebook profiles. However, the login interface or form looked quite genuine and users didn’t suspect anything. The Android WebView itself looked legitimate as they linked their profiles. However, it was the malicious JavaScript that the hijackers uploaded into the same WebView which stole the user data.

The login credentials were directly hijacked and sent to the trojan applications. Then the data was transferred to the attackers’ C&C server. The cookies were also stolen from the users. Here are the 9 applications that were involved in this cyber attack.

  1. PIP Photo (5,000,000+ downloads)
  2. Processing Photo (500,000+ downloads)
  3. Rubbish Cleaner (100,000+ downloads)
  4. Inwell Fitness (100,000+ downloads)
  5. Horoscope Daily (100,000+ downloads)
  6. App Lock Keep (50,000+ downloads)
  7. Lockit Master (5,000+ downloads)
  8. Horoscope Pi (1,000 downloads)
  9. App Lock manager (10 downloads)

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This is a direct alert to the users! If you have downloaded or installed any of these nine apps listed above, remove and uninstall them immediately. Make sure to reset your Facebook password and enable the 2-factor authentication as well. It will increase the security of your account. Google removed these apps for your security. Now, you have to do your part! Make sure your background check any lesser-known apps before you install. Be on the safer side.