Android WARNING: If your kids have downloaded these apps, DELETE them now

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Check Point, which now believes the dangerous infected apps have been downloaded over one million times.

Check Point says the terrifying type of malware, dubbed Tekya, infects phones and commits mobile ad fraud by imitating the actions of a user.

This means the phone begins clicking on ads and banners from ad agencies such as Google’s AdMob, AppLovin’, Facebook, and Unity behind your back without you ever being aware that you’re generating clicks – and therefore, revenue – for the fraudsters.

A total of 56 apps were found to contain this threat with 24 specifically aimed at children. These included a range of apps, from puzzle to racing games.

The end-goal of Tekya is to generate fraudulent financial gain. To accomplish this, Tekya tricks users, mostly children, to click on ads that it sources from online ad agencies.

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Android warning (Image: GETTY)

To make matters worse, many of the malicious apps were found on the official Google Play Store, which most users assume is a safe haven where apps can be downloaded without threat. Check Point says Tekya infiltrated Google Play Store by hiding it malicious intentions in native code – code that is configured to run only on Android processors.

As a result, Tekya was able to avoid detection by Google Play Protect, a system designed by Google to keep Android safe from front to back.

Speaking about the threat, Check Point’s Manager of Mobile Research, Aviran Hazum said: “To us, the amount of applications targeted and the sheer number of downloads that the actor successfully infiltrated into Google Play is staggering. Combine that with a relatively simple infection methodology, it all sums up to the learning that Google Play Store can still host malicious apps. It is difficult to check if every single application is safe on the Play Store, so users cannot rely on Google Play’s security measures alone to ensure their devices are protected.”

Researchers at Check Point responsibly disclosed their findings to Google. Google was able to remove the infected apps and the threat from the Play Store by early March 2020.

If users suspect they may have one of these infected apps on their device, they should:

• Uninstall the infected application from the device

• Keep the device up to date with the latest security patches

• Install a security solution to prevent future infections

We’re hoping Check Point will release a full list of the apps affected and will update this article as soon as we hear more.

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