Malware Alert: A virus in Google Play Store is extracting user data from mobile devices

Written by Faisal Saeed ·  50 sec read >

A deadly malware has been discovered on the Google Play Store, which is capable of collecting user’s contacts and sending it to external servers. The virus is also capable of compromising a device after rooting it. The existence of virus was first revealed last month after a thorough investigation by a security firm – Security Without Borders.

The security researchers have found that this Exodus virus has infected more than 20 apps on the Google Play Store and it has the functionality of rooting Android devices and boasting advanced spying features. To root Android devices the malware used an exploit termed as DirtyCOW, which Google patched in its play store in 2016.

The malware is also said to have made its way onto iOS devices. The IT security firm called Lookout said in a post, “For the past year, Lookout researchers have been tracking Android and iOS surveillance-ware, that can exfiltrate contacts, audio recordings, photos, location, and more from devices”.

This is not the first time Android faced a malware attack, another virus named Judy malware recently infected more than 36.5 million Android devices causing serious damages to the smartphones. The Judy virus infected more than dozens of mobile apps that were located on the Google Play Store.

According to the researchers, for now, the newly updated smartphones are immune to this malware, and Google has removed dozens of apps reported to have the Exodus virus in it.