Nothing is impossible, where there is a will there has to be a way – This used to be motto of all these developers who wished to harm. Considering the need of providing protection and security to the users, Google has taken a big step of deleting 20 apps from the Google Play Store and they were found to be of malicious code which was used to spy on users.
This is not for the very first time that the Google mobile OS was being targeted by people with the motive of supplying malicious content. Even in the month of April, a spyware family named as Chrysaor targeted a few android devices. These types of apps are expected to be installed in 100 phones on an average and these app were monitored on the basis of user’s email, text, voice calls, locations and much more.
Not only this, another spyware family named Lipizzan was also found to be guilty in engrossing themselves in these unwanted and dirty deeds. Entering through the Google Play it made its existence possible. Lipizzan has made its presence not only on one channel but on various channels including the Play Store. Naming themselves as Cleaner and Backup, the apps were successful in getting the access of sensitive data of various apps like Gmail, LinkedIn, Messenger etc.
The spyware family was able to perform the following functions:
✔ Call recording
✔ VOIP recording
✔ Recording from the device microphone
✔ Location monitoring
✔ Taking screenshots
✔ Taking photos with the device camera(s)
✔ Fetching device information and files
✔ Fetching user information (contacts, call logs, SMS, application-specific data)
On detecting the existence of such apps, Google Play blocked these apps. Despite of doing so Lipizzan did not stop doing its bad deeds and appeared again on the Play Store with almost similar appearance and slight changes. They now appeared as Notepad, Recorder or the Alarm Manager.
Google somehow managed to detect these spywares despite of their changes and Google then found 20 Lipizzan apps distributed to around 100 devices. Google blocked the developers as well as the apps from the Android Ecosystem. To take precautions to avoid such mishappenings taking place in future Google even enhanced the capabilities of the Google Play Protect by helping them to easily detect the spyware and block them.
Being precautious from our end can also help in protecting our devices and the sensitive information in it. The following measure can help you doing so:
✔ Opt for Google Play Protect which never sleeps and ensure the safety of the device.
✔ Update your phone on regular basis. Ensure to avail the latest Android Security once launched in the market.
✔ Avoid other sources of downloading the apps and opt only Play Store for doing so.
✔ Disable all the Unknown Sources especially when it is not in use.