Malicious apps on Google play posing as a legitimate voice messenger pop-ups fake survey forms in user’s devices and generate fraudulent ad clicks.
Security researchers from TrendMicro observed a number of malicious apps and they have deployed one by one since October and the cybercriminals continue to add more features to those apps.
Once such voice messenger app that contains common behaviors analyzed by researchers, all the identified apps having the same codes, behavior and they are from the same developer.
Malicious Apps Steal User Information
Once these malicious apps downloaded to the user’s device, then it establishes a connection with the C&C server then decrypts and execute the payload.
The payload executes two modules, Icon which hides icon and reduces the chance for the user in removing the app and the next one Wpp that open’s browser to access arbitrary URLs and generates fraudulent ad clicks.
The app displays the fake popups and gathers user’s personal information such as names, phone numbers, and home addresses, in exchange for gift cards.
The app use to open the face survey form in default browser, if default browser not preferred then the app will open survey form in any one of the browsers that include Boat Browser, Brave, Chrome, Cheetah, Dolphin, DU, Firefox, Jiubang Digital Portal, Link Bubble, Opera, Opera Mini, Puffin, and UC.
We have not observed communication with the server, we believe that this feature is still in development, researchers said.
All the identified apps have been reported to Google by Trend Micro and the malicious apps are removed now.
Recently a massive ad fraud scheme uncovered that tracked users when they are downloaded new apps and use their to claim the credit, this process called as click flooding and click injection.