Up to 36 million Android smartphones may be infected with this malware

The firm is also saying that the malware has until now managed to infect about 36.5 million Android devices. The auto-clicking adware basically used the infected devices to create false clicks on ads, to generate revenue for the people behind this.

According to Check Point, the malicious "Judy" apps have affected as many 36 million users who downloaded the apps from Google's official store. However, it wasn't clear which countries have been impacted by the Judy malware till now. Check Point writes in its blog post, "The malicious apps reached an astonishing spread between 4.5 million and 18.5 million downloads".

These researchers said that they have found many other apps, containing the malware, on Google Play Store. All of these apps were updated recently, making it hard for the security company to calculate Judy's exact impact and reach.

Security researchers from Check Point have unearthed one of the largest malware campaigns to affect Android devices.

As soon as the app phones home, the control server sends a JavaScript payload with which the malicious process is initiated.

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Once the ad gets a click, the malware author receives payment from the website developer. There are other apps from different developers that seem to share the infected code, but Check Point was unable to verify whether those third parties had colluded with the Korean firm.

Once the targeted website is launched, the malware uses the JavaScript code to locate and click on banners from the Google ads infrastructure. This firm develops apps for android, iOS. Keeping track of all the new Android devices can be a little tough at times though, and deciding which one you want to spend your hard-earned cash on can be even tougher.

The first rule in avoiding malicious apps is to never download apps from third-party stores. The worrying news came complete with evidence that the company found for 41 apps, developed by the same Korean company, that came together with the malware.

The oldest app of this second campaign was last updated in April 2016, meaning that the malicious code was hidden, undetected, on Google Play for more than a year. Play Protect will be built into every device with Google Play and automatically takes action to keep users' data and device safe.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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