New malware spotted on Google play that directs users to malicious websites and subscribes users to advertising notifications. The malware is distributed hidden under the official software of well-known brands.
The web push notification is the feature that allows websites to send a notification to users, even if the website is not opened, attackers abuse this feature by spreading advertising and fraudulent notifications that come from hacked or malicious websites.
“Android.FakeApp.174 is one of the first trojans that helps attackers increase the number of visitors of these websites and subscribe users of smartphones and tablets too, such notifications,” reads Dr.web report.
Researchers discovered two of such apps on the Google play when launched they load malicious websites through chrome and it performs several redirects to pages of various affiliated programs.
Each of the visited pages prompts users for notifications and inform the users it is for verification purposes; in this way, attackers increase the number of successful subscriptions.
Once the subscription is confirmed, the websites start to push several notifications of questionable content starting from false notifications about cash bonuses or transfers or new messages on social media to advertisements of horoscopes, casinos, goods and services, even various “news.”
The notifications appear to be real, and it is coming from popular online service, and also it contains the website link from where the notification is coming from.
By clicking on the notification link user get redirected to page with malicious contents and it includes advertisement of casinos, betting shops, various Google Play applications, discounts and coupons, fake online polls and prize drawings, aggregators of partner links, and other online resources and it varies based on victim’s country.
Android users who already subscribed for notifications are recommended to follow the below steps to get rid of the spam notifications. Users should be careful while visiting websites and not subscribe to notifications.
- Go to the Google Chrome settings, select “Site Settings” and then “Notifications”;
- On the list of websites with notifications, find the website address, tap it, and select “Clear & reset.”