Pokémon Go guide app with half a million downloads hacks Android devices MORE

Protection researchers have found a malicious application on Google Play that had over 500,000 downloads and was designed to advantage entire manipulate over Android devices.

The software masqueraded as a guide for the popular Pokémon Cross recreation and used multiple layers of obfuscation to pass Google Play’s malware detection mechanisms, researchers from Kaspersky Lab stated in a weblog post.

The app carries a malicious module that does not execute without delay. Rather, the app waits for every other application to be installed or uninstalled which will determine if it’s walking on a real device or in an emulated environment, like the ones used to come across malware.

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Once the app determines that it runs on an actual device, it waits a further two hours before executing the malicious module, which then connects to a remote server and sends facts about the tool. The server can coach the module to down load exploits for local privilege escalation vulnerabilities that were found in Android between 2012 and 2015.

Those are referred to as root exploits due to the fact they furnish get entry to the best privileged account on Android — the basis account. In other words, a hit exploitation will result in a complete compromise of the tool.

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Google has released patches for all of these vulnerabilities, however due to the fragmentation of the Android environment, there are likely many devices accessible that have not received all the updates Planet Reporter.

This does not imply that the five hundred,000 downloads constitute the wide variety of compromised devices. Android has local safety capabilities like Verify Apps and SafetyNet which might be specially designed to hit upon and block acknowledged root exploits.

Kaspersky recognized over 6,000 successful infections, normally in Russia, India and Indonesia. “But, since the app is orientated towards English-talking users, people in such geographies, and more, also are probably to have been hit,” the Kaspersky researchers stated.


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The malicious “guide for Pokémon Move” app was not the only app within the Google Play keep that contained this Trojan module. Kaspersky located other such apps that have been in the shop at one of a kind instances considering that December 2015. Most of the older apps had round 10,000 downloads, however one known as “Digital Clock” had greater than 100,000 downloads.

Google has done a quite appropriate activity at preserving malware out of its respectable app keep during the last few years, but as this incident indicates, malicious packages can nonetheless slip thru sometimes.