Security alert: Potential malware found in these apps

Cybercriminals manage to find new ways to fool the detection mechanisms, slipping malicious apps onto these platforms
An undated image of an Android phone. — Unsplash
An undated image of an Android phone. — Unsplash

The surge in cybercrime and malicious activities is rising with the widespread adoption of advanced technology across every aspect of life. Despite efforts by platforms like the Google Play Store and Apple App Store to strengthen security measures, cybercriminals manage to find new ways to fool the detection mechanisms, slipping malicious apps onto these platforms. 

They exploit users by disguising harmful apps as free services, which often go unnoticed, ultimately leading to data and monetary theft from unsuspecting victims. Recently, reports surfaced of malicious apps with over 150,000 downloads on the Google Play Store, spreading the Anatsa banking Trojan malware to compromise users' devices. 

Android apps you should delete to secure your smartphone

  1. Phone Cleaner - File Explorer
  2. PDF Viewer - File Explorer
  3. PDF Reader - Viewer & Editor
  4. Phone Cleaner: File Explorer
  5. PDF Reader: File Manager

According to a report by BleepingComputer, the Europe-based Anatsa cybercriminal group has been distributing free PDF and fake cleaner apps on the Google Play store, exploiting Android's Accessibility Service using a multi-stage infection process to evade security checks by Android 13 and Google. 

This serves as a reminder for users to think before downloading any free apps from app stores, as they may contain malicious Trojans that can compromise device security. 

Moreover, users should be cautious of free apps that may charge for services through payment modes or advertisements, or even subscribe users to paid services without their consent. 

Read more: 5 cool iPhone keyboard tricks

Steps to safeguard smartphone from malware apps

  1. Do not download any free application if you think is not important and avoid messing your device with unnecessary apps.
  2. If you are downloading any application from the Google Play Store, check reviews and ratings before proceeding and avoid downloading those apps with poor reviews or limited downloads.
  3. On your Android phones, activate Google Play Protect to scan existing apps for malicious activity.
  4. Stay alert when downloading new apps, conducting research to find reputable options rather than installing random apps from the Play Store.

By adhering to these guidelines and promptly removing any suspicious apps from your device, you can strengthen your smartphone against potential threats.