Apps in Google Play have been found by several researchers to contain spyware in them. Due to this, Android phone users have become more prone to such malicious malware that steal private data and acts as a best sms tracker once installed into their devices. Most of these apps which are infected by the said malware masquerade as legitimate messaging apps such as Troy Chat, Soniac and Hulk Messenger. These apps have been found to await commands from command-and-control servers which can turn on their tracking functions. These command-and-control servers are said to be the software developers of these malicious apps.
Upon discovery, Google has deleted these apps from their Play Store database. The company has considered it lucky that the said apps only existed for a short while on their online app store and were installed only by a small number of people before their tracking functionality was discovered by the company. Google is now working on informing users of infected devices regarding the said apps and helping them uninstall these apps to completely get rid of the malware that comes with these apps. Aside from this, the company has also intensified its security settings to prevent other malicious apps that have hidden tracking functions from being uploaded into their online store database.
The apps infected by the tracking malware discovered by Google had the ability to record audio, make calls to persons listed in the device’s contact list, retrieve data from said contact lists, messaging apps, and call logs. The malware contained in these apps can also take photos with the phone’s camera and acts as a location best SMS tracker as it can access recent locations through Wi-Fi spots and GPS. It may also compose and send SMS to anyone in the phone’s contact list. All these actions can be done without the permission and even knowledge of the device’s owner. It is even believed that this malware can gather private data such as accounts and passwords which can be sent back to the command-and-control center. As to what happens to the gathered data, the same remains a mystery.
These hidden malwares and tracking tools are becoming more prevalent especially for Android users. It is important therefore for Android users to have a reliable antivirus installed on their devices to help detect malicious malware before it is allowed to root into the phone’s software. Once detected these malicious apps and malware can be blocked every time it tries to install itself into your phone. It is also necessary for Android users to turn on their app security settings to prevent unwanted apps to be installed into your devices without your permission.
Aside from personal prevention, it is encouraged that information regarding these malicious apps be shared to the public and awareness of such an issue be started especially for Android users as a community. For victims of these malicious apps, it is advised to have your device rebooted or if totally compromised be replaced completely.