Another Major Malware Hits Play Store: “Xavier” Infects 800 Android Apps
It has merely been a month since reports of Judy malware infecting up to 36 million Android devices, and now a new headache has come out. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has found a new malware called Xavier in Google Play Store, which has infected as many as 800 apps in Google’s official Android app store. The infected apps have already been downloaded millions of times, which points towards another major threat to user privacy on Android.
According to Trend Micro this malware is an ad library that leaks user info silently. The malware is available in a wide range of apps, which include some wallpaper changers, ringtone changers, photo manipulators and some other utility apps as well.
The activities of this malware are tough to detect because it hides them under a self-protection mechanism of several encryption methods and an emulator detection functionality.
And most importantly, it can also download and execute code from a remote server. This makes the whole malware more deadly than it would otherwise have been. With such a capability the makers of this malware may even control our devices remotely once Xavier is working on them. And once someone gets hold of a device, nothing is impossible!
It’s disheartening to see that despite its billions of dollars and super-talented engineers Google hasn’t been able to protect its Play Store from such culprits. When apps are not protected in such a genuine location even, you only have one choice: don’t download any app from non-reputed sources, even if they exist in Play Store! For example, Facebook is a well-known source. Microsoft is a reputed source, and so are Opera, UC and other popular tech companies. You won’t have any trouble with apps of these companies, but as of now you should refrain from downloading an app that’s not from any such reputed source and is from some developer instead. That’s the only way to protect your privacy.