ANDROID phone owners need to immediately check their smartphones for dangerous apps.

Cybersecurity experts have revealed a long list of malicious apps that can steal your bank info – and have been installed by tens of thousands of users.

 Examples of fake apps that can steal your info were revealed by security experts at ESET

ESET

Examples of fake apps that can steal your info were revealed by security experts at ESET

Tech security firm ESET says all of the apps have now been removed from the Google Play Store, but phone users will need to delete them manually.

The dangerous apps "masquerade" as device boosters and cleaners, battery managers and horoscope apps – but they're actually eleborate hacking tools.

"Malware authors keep testing the vigilance of Android users by sneaking disguised mobile banking Trojans into the Google Play Store," wrote ESET's Lukas Stefanko.

"They can intercept and redirect text messages to bypass SMS-based two-factor authentication, intercept call logs, and download and install other apps on the compromised device."

 Some apps pretended to delete themselves, but would continue to snoop on you in the background

ESET

Some apps pretended to delete themselves, but would continue to snoop on you in the background
 The apps were coded to display fake error messages at launch

ESET

The apps were coded to display fake error messages at launch

By sending and receiving texts from your device, it's possible for hackers to gain access to almost any of your web accounts.

This could put your social media profiles, banking apps and gaming accounts at risk.

When the apps are launched, they display a fake error message that says they've been removed because of incompatibility with your device.

The app will then hide itself, or sometimes pretend to function normally.

But behind the scenes, the app will send and read text messages, impersonate banking apps, and even download and install other applications.

Cybersecurity experts warn over these Android apps

The following apps were listed as being 'compromised':

  • Power Manager
  • Astro Plus
  • Master Cleaner – CPU Booster
  • Master Clean – Power Booster
  • Super Boost Cleaner
  • Super Fast Cleaner
  • Daily Horoscope For All Zodiac Signs
  • Phone Booster – Clean Master
  • Speed Cleaner – CPU Cooler
  • Ultra Phone Booster
  • Free Daily Horoscope 2019
  • Free Daily Horoscope Plus – Astrology Online
  • Phone Power Booster
  • Ultra Cleaner – Power Boost
  • Master Cleaner – CPU Booster
  • Daily Horoscope – Astrological Forecast
  • Speed Cleaner – CPU Cooler
  • Horoscope 2018
  • Meu Horóscopo
  • Master Clean – Power Booster
  • Boost Your Phone
  • Phone Cleaner – Booster, Optimizer
  • Clean Master Pro Booster 2018
  • Clean Master – Booster Pro
  • BoostFX.Android cleaner
  • Daily Horoscope
  • Personal Horoscope

How to stay safe

According to ESET, it's possible to fix your issues by simply uninstalling the apps.

You can do this by heading to Settings > General > Application manager / Apps.

However, if any third-party services have been compromised, you'll need to change your passwords on those accounts manually.

It's worth checking your bank for suspicious transactions, too.

Here's the official advice from ESET:

  • "Only download apps from Google Play; this does not ensure the app is not malicious, but apps like these are much more common on third-party app stores, where they are rarely removed once uncovered, unlike on Google Play"
  • "Make sure to check the number of downloads, app ratings and the content of reviews before downloading apps from Google Play"
  • "Pay attention to what permissions you grant to the apps you install"
  • "Keep your Android device updated and use a reliable mobile security solution; ESET products detect and block this threat as Android/TrojanDropper.Agent.CIQ"

Do you feel safe using your Android phone? Let us know in the comments!


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