Huawei’s AppGallery has nearly 9 million Android phones running malware apps

Huawei's AppGallery has nearly 9 million Android phones running malware apps

Once installed, the apps prompted the victims for permission to make and manage phone calls, using the access to harvest their phone numbers along with other device information such as geolocation, mobile network parameters, and system metadata. “At first glance, a mobile phone number leak may seem like an insignificant problem. Yet in reality, it can seriously harm users, especially given the fact that children are the games’ main target audience,” Doctor Web researchers said.

At least 9.3 million Android devices have been infected by a new type of malware that masquerades as dozens of arcade, shooter, and strategy games on Huawei’s AppGallery marketplace in order to steal device data and victims’ phone numbers. Researchers from Doctor Web discovered the mobile campaign and classed the trojan as “Android.Cynos.7.origin,” owing to the fact that it is a modified variant of the Cynos malware. Some of the 190 rogue games discovered were made for Russian-speaking players, while others were made for Chinese or international audiences.

“Even if the mobile phone number is registered to an adult, downloading a child’s game may highly likely indicate that the child is the one who actually using the mobile phone. It is very doubtful that parents would want the above data about the phone to be transferred not only to unknown foreign servers, but to anyone else in general.”

While the malware-laced apps have since been purged from the app stores, users who have installed the apps on their devices will have to manually remove them to prevent further exploitation. Found this article interesting? Follow THN on Facebook, Twitter  and LinkedIn to read more exclusive content we post.

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