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New Android malware runs rings around Google Play security protocols

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:29PM EST

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Symantec has discovered a new piece of Android malware, since removed from the Google Play store, that managed to chalk up between 50,000 and 100,000 downloads of malicious apps before being identified. In a post on his company’s blog, Symantec researcher Irfan Asrar details how the malware disguised itself as popular games such as Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto 3 Moscow City, and then delivered its payload in incremental downloads to make it harder to detect.

“What is most interesting about this Trojan is the fact that the threat managed to stay on Google Play for such a long time, clocking up some serious download figures before being discovered,” writes Asrar. “Our suspicion is that this was probably due to the remote payload employed by this Trojan.”

The good news: Unlike past Android malware, this particular Trojan likely won’t have any impact on Japan’s all-important annual girl-band election.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.