Play Store: beware, these 135 Android applications secretly subscribe to expensive services!
A new Trojan called Grift Horse threatens many Android users. He exploits social engineering to trick his victims into providing their phone number. Hackers then use it to subscribe users to expensive and unnecessary services!
Not a week goes by without a new threat against Android users. After the Bluetooth flaw spotted in Qualcomm equipment or this malicious copy of WhatsApp, Zimperium computer security researchers have discovered a new Trojan horse.
Dubbed Grift Horse, this Android trojan relies on social engineering to urge victims to give out their phone number. This Trojan horse is present in more than 135 applications available on the Play Store as well as other third-party application stores. Google also specifies having removed them all from the Play Store, but nothing says that this was done on other platforms.
This Trojan only needs your phone number
The principle is simple: one of these applications sends you a notification informing you that you have won a gift and that you must claim your prize. By clicking on the notification, you are redirected to a website where you are asked to enter your phone number, in order to verify your identity.
In reality, hackers get your phone numbers to subscribe without your knowledge to several overpriced fictitious services. The amounts can be up to 40 € per month. “Victims think they are winning a prize, but they are actually wrongly billed on their phone bill ”, Zimperium experts explain.
Indeed, registering for these services only requires an SMS (no credit card). Subscription fees actually carry over to your monthly phone bill. According to the researchers, Grift Horse has been active since November 2020, and given the number of infected apps, they estimate that hackers have already pocketed several hundred thousand dollars.
Read also: Android malware – the Joker is back on the Play Store
List of Android apps infected with Grift Horse
Either way, it is obviously more than advisable to uninstall any of these apps. Below is the complete list of apps infected with Grift Horse: