Published: Tue, June 25, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google App Beta Tests a More Convenient Way of Sharing Searches

Google App Beta Tests a More Convenient Way of Sharing Searches

Installing counterfeit apps can lead to a hacker accessing personal data and can have serious consequences such as financial losses or identity theft.

You'll use the same page to leave the beta-testing program, in case you want to go back to using the boring ol' version of the app everyone else gets. Earlier this week, the company announced that it will no longer allow apps in the Google Play Store that "facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products regardless of legality". It focused exclusively on Android apps in the Play Store.

If you're ever curious whether an app on the Google Play Store has a beta test you can sign up to try, you should be able to find that right on the app's Play Store listing.

The two institutions investigated over one million apps on the Android platform, identifying 2040 apps either containing malware and posing as popular games like Temple Run, or requesting "dangerous" data access permissions. The fraudulent BtcTurk apps could operate on a vast majority of Android devices of the day. The researchers found that counterfeit apps impersonating popular legitimate apps have become so sneaky that even a tech-savvy user might struggle to detect that something is awry.

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"One of the positive effects of Google's restrictions from March 2019 was that credential-stealing apps lost the option to abuse these permissions for bypassing SMS-based 2FA mechanisms". Once the username and password have been entered, a Turkish error message will be displayed citing that the service for the mobile app is temporarily unavailable. According to some evidence, it is also possible that the malware can gain access to OTPs from emails as well.

In other words, instead of trying to intercept SMS messages and steal OTPs like before, the malicious app now scans the screen of the device and takes information from the notification that pops up once the codes are received.

Android has the largest market share in terms of the device, but it still lags behind iOS when it comes to the money being made.

ESET found another malicious app that utilizes the same technique uploaded last week on Google Play Store.

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