A new malware, named ‘BadNews,’ has been found in 32 apps available to download for Android devices from the Google Play Store. Lookout, a company that makes security software for smartphones, revealed that it had found 32 apps, published through four different developer accounts, that were infected by the BadNews malware which hid itself as an advertising network being used by the app. According to Lookout’s blog post, the malware engineers created the fake ad network in order to push the malicious code to the infected apps.
If installed on a phone, BadNews is capable of sending fake news and notifications to users in order to get them to install other malicious software and is also able to capture and transmit hardware information such as a phone’s IMEI number to the malware creators. Lookout points out that BadNews can also secretly send messages to premium SMS malware which can be billed to the user. Most of the infected apps seem to be Russian in origin and include a whole gamut of apps including games, wallpaper apps, adult apps and even recipe apps. Lookout notes that it’s not necessary that the app developers had malicious intents but could have instead implemented the fake ad network into their apps without doing the proper security checks.
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