A malware, called Autolycos after the Greek figure renowned as the master of theft and deceit, automatically signs customers up for premium Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) services without asking for their consent. The malware has now reached the Google Play Store, later discovered to possess eight popular apps with over 3 million downloads.
Although Google has removed these applications from the Play Store, users who have downloaded them will still have access to them on their smartphones.
But the APK versions of them are still downloadable on Play Store.
It is advisable to delete any of these applications immediately if already downloaded.
Turning on Google Play Protect on Android devices is suggested, and avoid allowing applications permission to read SMS contents.
Additionally, users are advised to only download programmes from well-known developers if downloading from social media.
Autolycos’ virus functions by inserting itself into http requests and running URLs on a remote browser. Additionally, it asks for permission to read SMS content, giving malicious apps access to your text messages and the ability to steal sensitive information like banking information or one-time passwords (OTP).
The 8 Harmful Applications
Vlog Star Video Editor -1 million downloads
A Vlogging app.
Creative 3D Launcher -1 million downloads
A launcher that claims to create a 3D effect for your smartphone’s home screen
Wow Beauty Camera -100,000 downloads
Another camera app with beauty filters.
Gif Emoji Keyboard -100,000 downloads
A keyboard app with GIF emojis.
Razer Keyboard & Theme -10,000 downloads
Another risky keyboard app claims to give users’ keyboards a customised design with GIF emojis.
Freeglow Camera 1.0.0 -5,000 downloads
A free photography app.
Coco Camera v1.1 -1,000 downloads
This camera app modifies images with retro aspects on smartphones.
Funny Camera by KellyTech -50,000 downloads
As the name suggests, the app provides camera filters.