Japanese users of Google Play get played by malware

Apps that served up gaming, anime, and adult-oriented video clips also gained access to sensitive information, according to McAfee.

Google Play users who wanted to view this clip got more than they bargained for. McAfee

Japanese users of Google's online clearing house of downloadable entertainment for Android devices are being targeted with a Trojan horse that displays requested videos but nicks personal information in the process.

Antivirus company McAfee posted a blog item this afternoon about the Trojan, which was found lurking in the Google Play marketplace.

The post says applications carrying the Trojan promise, and in some cases deliver, trailers for upcoming video games or anime or adult-oriented clips, but they also request "read contact data" and "read phone state and identity" permissions before being downloaded.

Those permissions give the malware access to a user's Android ID, which can identify the user's device; the phone number of the device; and the name, phone number, and e-mail address of everyone on the user's contact list. The malware sends the data to a remote server, McAfee says.

The McAfee post says the company has so far found 15 of the malicious apps, from two developers, and that they've been downloaded by at least 70,000 people. All those apps, however, have now been removed from Google Play. McAfee says its Mobile Security product detects the threats as Android/DougaLeaker.A, and that Google Play users should check to be sure apps aren't requesting inappropriate permissions.

You can read McAfee's full post on the matter here.

About the author

Edward Moyer is an associate editor at CNET News and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch.

 

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