A new Android malware has been discovered by a team of security researchers at McAfee. The malware, dubbed ‘Goldoson’, has infected 60 apps that have a total of over 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store. It can collect data on installed apps, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-connected devices, and track location. Also, it can perform ad fraud by clicking ads in the background without the consent of users. Android users in South Korea are said to have been affected by the latest malware. Apps like Swipe Brick Breaker, Money Manager, and GOM Player have been affected by the malware.
Researchers at security software firm McAfee have identified the Android-based Goldoson malware. Once installed, it collects sensitive data including lists of applications installed, details about the devices paired through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and nearby GPS locations. McAfee also claims that the malware can perform ad fraud by clicking advertisements in the background without the user’s consent.
The infected apps on the Google Play Store have a total of over 100 million downloads. Applications from South Korea’s ONE store are also affected by the malware and they have been installed around 8 million times. These include L.POINT with L.PAY, Swipe Brick Breaker, and Money Manager Expense & Budget which have 10 million downloads on Android app stores.
GOM Player, Live Score, Real-Time Score, Pikicast, Compass 9: Smart Compass, GOM Audio, Lotte Word Magicpass, Bounce Brick Breaker, Infinite Slice, SomNote, Korea Subway Info: Metroid are some of the other apps impacted by Goldoson.
McAfee has also confirmed that the discovered apps were reported to Google, and the tech giant notified the developers that their apps affected by the malware. Many of the affected apps were said to be cleaned up by the developers while some were removed from Google Play for violating the company’s app store policies.
Android users with any of these apps on their phones should update them to the latest version. Users are also advised to avoid installing any unknown or suspicious apps on their smartphones. They should also re-check app permissions to limit access of third parties to their device hardware.