Google is said to have removed 25 apps from its Google Play store that were caught stealing Facebook credentials. According to the French cyber-security firm, Evina, these malicious apps collectively had over 25 lakh downloads. The apps reportedly offered different functionalities, though they used the same method for extracting users’ credentials. Some of the apps had been available on the Google Play store for over two years before they were finally removed, the cyber-security firm highlighted.
The findings were published in a blog post by Evina and were first reported by ZDNet. Google removed the apps earlier in June after the cyber-security firm reported its potential threat in May this year. Most of these malicious apps offered new wallpapers, while others provided video editing tools and flashlight tools. Apps such as Super Wallpapers Flashlight and Padenatef had over 5 lakh downloads each on Google Play.
How did the apps steal Facebook credentials?
According to Evina, once the user launched the contentious app on their smartphone, the malicious app detected what app a user recently opened and had in the phone’s foreground. “If it is a Facebook application, the malware will launch a browser that loads Facebook at the same time. The browser is displayed in the foreground which makes you think that the application launched it,” the cyber-security firm explains.
Once the user put their Facebook login details on the phishing page (which features a black bar instead of a blue bar of the original Facebook app), the malicious then sent the credentials to a remote server. This could potentially allow attackers to access all data stored on the Facebook account or even allow them to access other websites where users’ have logged in via their Facebook account.
Evina, however, has not clarified how these malicious apps avoided detection by Google’s Play Protection service. The full list of these malicious Android apps is listed on Evina’s website.
ZDNet citing the cyber-security firm notes that all of the 25 malicious apps were developed by a single threat group.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.