Millions Of Android Devices Infected With Ad-click Malware

Tens of millions of Android devices may have been infected with a newly discovered piece of malware used to generate fraudulent ad revenue. Security firm CheckPoint has discovered dozens of Android applications that have been infecting devices with malicious ad-click software. It is estimated that the new malware infects over 36.5 million Android devices.

The malicious code was spotted in dozens of apps developed by Korean company Kiniwini, which is registered on Google Play as ENISTUDIO Corp. The company produces a series of casual cooking and fashion games under the “Judy” brand. The developer publishes apps for both iOS and Android platforms.

The hackers downloaded the actual malicious payload after the app had been installed to circumvent Google Play’s Bounce Protection. When a connection is established, the malware opens URLs controlled by the malware authors in the background to start generating clicks on Google ads. The apps’ malware payload was siphoned from a non-Google server upon being installed on devices, making it more difficult to detect.

This is potentially the most widely-spread malware yet found on Google Play. It’s unclear when the malicious code was added to the apps. Most of the apps have been on the Play Store for a significant period of time but they have all been recently updated.

Google has removed the apps from the Play Store after being notified by CheckPoint. CheckPoint says it did not find any evidence of compromised user data. For those that are worried, making sure that your Android device is running the most recent operating system and security patch is one of the best ways to keep an Android device safe from malware.

Here is a complete list of the affected apps:
Animal Judy: Cat care
Animal Judy: Dog care
Animal Judy: Dragon care
Animal Judy: Elephant care
Animal Judy: Fennec Fox care
Animal Judy: Feral Cat care
Animal Judy: Nine-Tailed Fox
Animal Judy: Persian cat care
Animal Judy: Rabbit care
Animal Judy: Rudolph care
Animal Judy: Sea otter care
Animal Judy: Teddy Bear care
Chef Judy: Birthday Food Maker
Chef Judy: Character Lunch
Chef Judy: Chicken Maker
Chef Judy: Dalgona Maker
Chef Judy: Halloween Cookies
Chef Judy: Hotdog Maker – Cook
Chef Judy: Jelly Maker – Cook
Chef Judy: Picnic Lunch Maker
Chef Judy: ServiceStation Food
Chef Judy: Triangular Kimbap
Chef Judy: Udong Maker – Cook
Fashion Judy: Bunny Girl Style
Fashion Judy: Country style
Fashion Judy: Couple Style
Fashion Judy: EXO Style
Fashion Judy: Frozen Princess
Fashion Judy: Halloween style
Fashion Judy: Myth Style
Fashion Judy: Pretty rapper
Fashion Judy: Snow Queen style
Fashion Judy: Teacher style
Fashion Judy: Twice Style
Fashion Judy: Uniform style
Fashion Judy: Vampire style
Fashion Judy: Waitress style
Fashion Judy: Wedding day
Fashion Judy: Wedding Party
Judy’s Happy House
Judy’s Hospital: Pediatrics
Judy’s Spa Salon