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A Million Google Play Accounts Hit By Fraud

Monday, December 5th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Android, Security Help, Smartphones
 
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Around a million Google accounts have been hit by hackers taking advantage of a big Android flaw. They’re using a malware called Gooligan to go after Android devices.

The Gooligan malware comes hidden in Android apps. Once installed on your device, it steals your account information and then installs apps on your device.  The malware was first discovered by Check Point security researchers last year. Check Point says it has informed Google about the issue.

androidfakeidcrop

This malware can gain access to your email, Google Drive documents and files, and your photos. Why are they doing it?  To help increase ad money from those apps. That money goes to the app developers.  This malware even leaves phony positive reviews for these apps. The apps get a strong positive rating that helps them look legitimate.

Check Point released this graphic to explain how the malware works.

goolgian-graphic

The malware affects devices running Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop. That makes up around 75% of devices in use.  This malware gets onto your device when users install apps from third-party app stores.  Often times these third-party stores will offer free versions of paid apps that look legitimate.  They can also be installed when hackers use phishing scams to trick you into downloading.

goolgian-app-ratings

Check Point provided a list of some of the fake apps carrying the Gooligan malware. They include:

 

  • Perfect Cleaner
  • Demo
  • WiFi Enhancer
  • Snake
  • gla.pev.zvh
  • Html5 Games
  • Demm
  • memory booster
  • Memory Booster
  • phone booster
  • SettingService
  • Wifi Master
  • Fruit Slots
  • System Booster
  • Dircet Browser
  • FUNNY DROPS
  • Puzzle Bubble-Pet Paradise
  • GPS
  • Light Browser
  • Clean Master
  • YouTube Downloader

For a complete list of apps and more details on how this malware works, you can click here to look at Check Point’s blog post on Gooligan.

Click here to use Check Point’s Gooligan checker to find out if your account has been breached.  If your device has been breached, you may want to take it to a tech professional to be flashed.

~ Cynthia

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