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Highly Advanced Android Hacking Campaign Affects 1 Million Users

It’s not uncommon to hear about Android apps being used to infect users with malware or potentially make them suffer from some kind of serious scam that would result in them being forced to go through a terrible user experience all in all. Because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up causing a lot of problems for Android users, people should be wary of the apps they download yet despite this wariness there seems to be something new and even more advanced every other month that catches Android users by surprise.

It is important to note that the latest Android hack, named as PARETO botnet, which as per HumanSecurity Team, has ended up affecting over a million users might be one of the most advanced that we have seen up until this point.

Just under 30 Android apps, of which 9 of them are found in Google Play Store (including Flash Light with 100,000+ installs, Mobile Screen Recorder with 1,000+ installs, Sling Puck 3D Challenge with 100,000+ downloads, Hole Ball King with 10,000+ downloads, Save The Balloons with 50,000+ installs, Light Torch SOS with 10,000+ downloads, Any Light with 10,000+ installs, and, Bump Challenge - MultiSport with over 5,000 installs) are involved in this scam.

Basically these apps are being used to generate hundreds of millions of fake ad views which then the scammers cash in on since the ad providers would have no idea that these ad views are in no way real.

Basically each of these apps have a kit inside of them that generates these fake ad views, and initially, these apps don’t seem fake or threatening at all. Some are as innocuous as being simple torch apps, with Any Light being an example that claims to offer you the ability to change the color of your torchlight and which managed to get 10,000 downloads. Once the app was downloaded, the software kit would make the phones appear as Smart TVs and the ad views on Smart TVs tend to be a great deal more valuable so it is understandable that the scammers managed to gain quite a bit of profit from this sort of thing.

These kinds of scams make it clear that there are a lot of security issues that need to be fixed before Android can be considered a truly safe platform. The rather open source nature of many of Android features makes it easy for scam artists to take advantage of them, and with the internet of things becoming increasingly prevalent in our modern day and age it’s not difficult to see how such things could end up having an even greater impact in the future which could potentially affect the users as well.

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