The world has still not overcome the rampant ransomware attacks, and the talk of the town is the new Android malware “Judy”, which is allegedly attacking Android smartphones. Judy malware is said to be the largest malware campaign on Google Play which has attacked almost 36.5 million users, said a security firm CheckPoint. CheckPoint is the security firm that keeps a track of the viruses and malwares infecting smartphones.
As analyzed and said by CheckPoint: Judy malware is an auto-clicking adware which was found on 41 apps and are said to be developed by a Korean company. As estimated, Judy malware has hit almost 36.5 million Android devices by creating false clicks on ads, thereby generating generous revenue for the attackers.
What is an Adware:
An adware is a piece of software, that inevitably renders ads to generate profits for its developer.
Judy is an adware which mints money for its masters by creating fraudulent advertisements clicks after infecting a phone. Per CheckPoint, Judy bypassed Bouncer, Google Play’s protection making it easy for the hackers to create a seemingly benign bridgehead app, meant to establish a connection to the victim’s device, and insert it into the app store.
As said by CheckPoint, the group behind the malware attack is Kiniwni, a South Korean company which is registered as ENISTUDIO corp on Google Play. The group develops mobile apps on both Android and iOS.
The malware is said to be lurking on Google Play for almost a year. The oldest app encompassing the malware is said to be existing on Play Store since 2016. The inability of Google Play Store to detect such malicious app have definitely left it under scrutiny.
Per CheckPoint “The malicious apps reached an astonishing spread between 4.5 million and 18.5 million downloads. Some of the apps we discovered resided on Google Play for several years, but all were recently updated.”
Though Google Play says that it scans Play Store for malicious apps regularly, missing Judy, clearly shows how ineffective is the scan engine.
As said by CheckPoint, Google Play store has now removed all the apps that were said to contain the malware, however, owing to such a miss, it is advised that one should be extremely careful while downloading apps from the Play Store.
Also, the system should be updated with the latest security patches. Having an updated anti-virus program is also recommended in order to keep your phones safe.