Since their inception, smartphones have one problem that still haven’t been fixed – they need to be charged every day (every few hours in some cases), or else you risk being left without the phone, Internet, navigation, camera, notes, and many other things. But there’re apps in existence that allow you to fix this problem – they charge your smartphone extremely fast and you’re able to stay mobile for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, cybercriminals also have their eye on that market and release applications that turn your device into a host for advertisements.
Clear Master, Fast Charge and Fast Charger apps contain malware
We’re going to tell you about three malicious applications that were discovered on Google Play by Symantec. They’re disguised as useful tools that allow you to get that precious “100%” sign on a battery indicator fast, but actually collect money from advertisements by using self-naming tricks, delayed attacks and an attack list that comes from a command & control server. Those apps are recognized as Android.Fakeapp, and they have already been delisted from the store. Still, a lot of people have downloaded them. Those apps are called Clear Master Boost and Clean (5000 to 10000 downloads), Fast Charge 2017 (10000 to 50000 downloads), and Fast Charger X3 Free (10000 to 50000 downloads).
Those applications have one name on the home screen, but their process name is something completely different. Fast Charger X3 Free is displayed as Fast Charger, but its process is called “android”. This is done to bypass security software. Also, as is the case with lots of other malicious programs, apps are controlled by a command and control server. It sends the list of apps that can be used in each specific situation, delay times and servers that contain advertisements. Each app follows the instructions given by a list to a tee, and generates revenue for its creators by opening advertisements in the background without you even knowing anything about it. It’s also possible to release hotfixes for apps that don’t bring as much money as their creators want them to – it allows to try different configurations and find those that’re most profitable.
Malicious behavior can also be triggered on delay, which leads you to thinking that some other app causes problems, even though it doesn’t actually do anything that can be considered bad. This method also helps bypassing security software, because it can’t detect a process that’s not active. The worst thing that can happen when it comes to those three applications is you losing the Device Administrator privileges. There’re different methods to make you do so, but they all conclude with a prompt to press “OK”. Once this is done, it gets extremely hard to locate and delete malicious application from your smartphone.
Install a trusted mobile antivirus
To avoid this kind of scenario, you need to have an app like Norton Mobile Security installed. Not only it protects you from threats, but it also can tell you whether an app is malicious while you’re still browsing Google Play. So if you have Norton Mobile Security and keep it up-to-date, there won’t be anything to worry about.
You also need to refrain from downloading applications from untrustworthy pages, carefully read through permissions that they request to give, and, to be completely sure, have your data and files backed up. It’s always better to be ready for something than just hoping that everything will be alright, and we’ve provided you with everything you need to know to protect your smartphone. And keep a spare cell phone just in case – it can get you out of a lot of unexpected situations.