thousands of android app files found with malware evading threat detection tools - here's how you can stay safe

📗 Date: 21 Aug, 2023
Source: Benzinga

In another example of how risky it can be to download apps from unauthorized sources, a new study has revealed that thousands of Android app files are laden with malware capable of escaping detection by most threat detection tools.

What Happened:A new study has found that thousands of Android Package (APK) files on the internet are riddled with advanced malware that is escaping detection by most of the available threat detection tools.

According to cybersecurity research firm Zimperium, Android malware developers have taken the lead over threat detection tools, creating apps laden with malware that allow them to pass security checks using the available tools.

 The firm has found over 3,000 samples out there that are currently using these advanced algorithms to bypass security checks and wreak havoc on the compromised devices they are installed on.

Of these, 71 apps could seamlessly integrate themselves into the operating system on user devices, fooling even the built-in security tools like Google’s Play Protect scanner.

Why Is It Important:While Android’s open nature and the ability to sideload apps gives users the freedom to break free from the dependence on Google Play Store, it can also prove to be a double-edged sword in cases where APK files include malware that can avoid security checks.

This has often caused plenty of headaches for Alphabet Inc.’s Googlereports of malware-ridden Android apps have been common yearly. On the other hand, Apple Inc.’s closed-source approach and strict approval processes have proven to be relatively more successful in warding off these threats.

However, with new European Union regulations requiring Apple to allow sideloading on iPhones and iPads, it remains to be seen whether Apple remains relatively shielded from malware.

How To Keep Android Phones Safe From Malware

With phones being such an important part of our personal lives now, staying safe from malware has never been more critical.
Here are some of the ways in which you can keep your Android phone safe:

  • Don’t install apps from unauthorized sources, especially not from APKs you find online.
  • Keep Google Play Protect enabled. Head over to the Google Play Store, tap on the profile picture, and then tap Play Protect.
  • Keep your device software up to date, and install all the software and security updates available.
  • Install only trustworthy apps from verifiable sources like the Google Play Store.
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