Malicious Actors Can Get Malware on the Play Store for Just $5,000

The Google Play Store has become notorious for its propensity to include apps that are infected with malware. Malicious actors have actually managed to create a veritable cottage industry out of this. Working out of forums based on Telegram, cybercriminals can purchase a service from another malicious actor that would get their malware laden app on the Play Store for as little as just $2,000 with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The prices vary from case to case, with charges of anywhere from $2,000 all the way to $20,000 having been seen so far. This information is coming from a report that was recently released by Kaspersky, and it reveals just how risky the Play Store is starting to become. Cybercriminals who are offering these services can mask the malware by injecting it into useful apps such as QR code scanners, dating apps as well as small scale mobile games.

What’s more, developer accounts are also being sold because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing malicious actors to send malware to the Play Store whilst attracting less attention than might have been the case otherwise. These so called clean accounts, which are free of any reports or suspicion, can be purchased for as little as $60 or so.

The criminals behind these services are also fairly confident that their offerings will be successful. Some are going so far as to promise upwards of 5,000 downloads before the app gets taken down. This might not sound like a lot, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it would be enough to facilitate the theft of large quantities of data.

Google really needs to tackle these issues otherwise the Play Store’s current trajectory will continue unabated. These apps that are being created requested a wide range of permissions that can give them access to a user’s camera as well as their contact list. Urgent steps must be taken, lest the prevalence of malware becomes ever greater and puts the security of all Android users at risk.

Read next: Experts Raise The Alarm As Hackers Are Hijacking Public Charging Ports At Malls And Airports
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