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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 31, 2017

Google identifies and takes action against Play Store app spyware

Two weeks ago more than a thousand zombie apps were found within the Google Play store and just this week Google announced action being taken against 20 Play Store apps found to contain malicious code.

by Helen Leggatt

Zombie apps infect mobile phones expending data usage and battery life and costing advertisers billions of dollars annually. Earlier this month, next-gen fraud protection software, Anura, announced that more than a thousand of such apps have been identified in the Google Play Store.

Just this week, Google has announced it is taking action against 20 Play Store apps that were found to contain malicious code - 'Lipizzan' spyware - that allowed users to be spied on. The apps were found to be monitoring emails, texts, cameras, and voice calls of infected mobile devices.

Google said it discovered this new Android spyware while investigating another named 'Chrysaor'. 'Lipizzan' spyware was found to be capable of performing various tasks including taking screenshots, taking pictures with the device camera, recording from the device's microphone, call recording, and location monitoring.

"We have found 20 Lipizzan apps distributed in a targeted fashion to fewer than 100 devices in total and have blocked the developers and apps from the Android ecosystem," said Google in a recent blog post.

Tags: apps, malicious code, mobile, security, spyware

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