Facebook ID theft: Google Play removes 9 popular apps


Malicious Android apps have been detected in Google Play.

Google has made the decision to remove 9 apps and ban their developers from the Play Store. © diy13 / stock.adobe.com

Google removes 9 dangerous apps from the Play Store

On July 4, Google decided to remove 9 Android apps from the Play Store. The cause ? Attempts to hack Facebook credentials. Indeed, malicious actions have been detected by IT security researchers from Dr. Web, antivirus software. These are popular apps available on the Play Store, some with up to 5.8 million downloads.

Here are the 9 implicated applications:

  • Rubbish Cleaner,
  • PIP Photo,
  • Processing Photo,
  • Horoscope Daily,
  • Horoscope Pi,
  • Lockit Master,
  • App Lock Keep,
  • App Lock Manager,
  • Inwell Fitness.

Identical hacking attempts

According to information provided by Dr Web, Trojans were embedded in the applications and the process was always the same. As the applications were saturated with advertisements, it was suggested that users log into their Facebook account to avoid these intrusive advertisements. A Facebook authentication page then opened, asking Internet users for their email and password to connect.

If this page was indeed the one used for a classic connection to the social network, it was infected within the application itself, in order to intercept the data. As detailed by analysts at Dr Web, the Trojans were identifiable as Android.PWS.Facebook.13, Android.PWS.Facebook.14, Android.PWS.Facebook.15, Android.PWS.Facebook.17 , Android.PWS.Facebook.18, varying by application.

Informed by Dr Web of the malicious practices of these applications available on the Play Store, Google has decided to remove them, but also to ban the developers behind these programs.

How does Google fight malware?

Before being available on Google Play, apps go through automated Google filtering, which is supposed to prevent malware from entering the store. In addition, the algorithm relies both on the material requirements, but also on the notes left by Internet users, when it brings up certain applications during a search on the Play Store.

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