Monday, March 4, 2024

LightsOut – Malicious Flashlight Apps on Google Play with Nearly 7.5 Million Downloads

A new adware spotted in Google play contains scripts to overrides the user decision and disable ads outside of legitimate context. It hides icon which makes the detection and removal process difficult.

The malware Dubbed LightsOut spotted by checkpoint security researchers and notified to Google, who removed the apps from the play store now.The Malware hides into 22 utility and flashlight apps which almost reaches 7.5 million downloads.

Researchers said The deception was far-reaching in its disruption to the user. Some users noted that they were forced to press on ads to answer calls and perform other activities on their device. Indeed, another user reported that the malicious ad activity continued even after he purchased the ad-free version of the app, taking the abuse to a whole new level.

How it works and it’s purpose – LightsOut

It embeds the malicious SDK file into the legitimate Flashlight and utility apps, researchers found multiple malicious capabilities with the samples analyzed.

Also Read New Android Malware Physically Destroying your Phone by Running Cryptocurrency Miner

The app once launched hides its icon which makes harder for the user to halt the process to remove the app. it offers a control panel to enable or disable services, including the option to disable ads.

Even though users choose to disable ads ‘LightsOut’ overrides it and continues to display the ads out of context.The purpose of the ads is to generate illegal revenue from users.The ad events triggered at the end of the call, Wi-Fi connection, when charger plugged in or the screen is locked.

Researchers said since the ads are not directly connected to ‘LightsOut’s activity, the user is unlikely to understand what caused them. And, even if they do realize the app is to blame, they won’t be able to find the app’s icon and remove it from their device.

Infected Packages on Play store

Package NameDownloads (Min)Downloads (Max),000100,000,00050,000

SHA-256 Hashes:

f5b98f91c4ccb6f9530434adce285e25e503a7afb6ea97a03bea57c319cd2fbc 52209fa52052b8086ae5213d0a51c053ca07a6f36a131f2627be55db17f39ae7


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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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