Security firm Lookout is warning Android users of a new trojanized adware that infects users who download fake versions of popular apps from third party app stores. This trojanized adware is not going to affect the majority of regular users who are smart enough to only download apps from Google Play. The new adware hides inside apps that seem legitimate, such as Google Now, Facebook and Twitter, then installs itself once you open the fake app. It then roots your phone and installs itself as a system application, pretty much leaving the user stuck with no way to uninstall. As Digital Trends points out, the only way to uninstall the adware is to blow the ROM away and reinstall from scratch, which most users won’t know how to do.
The infected apps are very clever. Lookout has detected 20,000 examples, and most work in exactly the same way as the apps they copy, making it more difficult for you to detect and therefore, less likely to try and uninstall it. With root access to your phone, the app becomes ingrained in the OS, which is how it becomes almost impossible to delete. Once up and running, ads will be pushed to your phone, and worse, apps can be downloaded and installed without your consent. Why? Because delivering ads and installing apps make the attackers money.
If you’re reading this and know that you only download apps from Google Play, you are completely safe from this trojanized adware. However, if you choose to dip your toes into untested app stores and allow third party installs, you could be at risk. You can read Lookout’s entire blog post to get more of the details and how it may affect you.
Do you use third party app stores to download apps? How do you make sure you stay safe from security risks when doing so? Let us know in the comments below.