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Enlarge  One of the fee-based services Expensive Wallpaper apps subscribed users

Enlarge One of the fee-based services Expensive Wallpaper apps subscribed users

Google's efforts to keep its mobile app store free of malware-laden applications appears to be very much a work in progress considering the recent success cyber-criminals have had uploading rogue software to it.

The apps containing ExpensiveWall have been removed from Play Store but anyone who has downloaded them already will need to remove the app from their device themselves.

The Check Point researchers found the ExpensiveWall malware in the Lovely Wallpaper application.

The ExpensiveWall app used a method through which malicious content was effectively hidden from anti-malware protections that were integrated into Google Play Store.

According to Check Point, it is a "new variant of Android malware that sends fraudulent premium SMS messages and charges for fake services to users' accounts without their knowledge".

The ExpensiveWall malware registers victims to premium services without their knowledge and sends fraudulent premium SMS messages, charging their accounts for fake services.

Check Point has notified Google about the ExpensiveWall malware and the former has obliged with quick response by removing all the apps understood to be infected with the malicious code.

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It can steal sensitive data and collect information such as the location of a victim using the malware-hit device and its IP address.

Security experts have discovered premium SMS Android malware lurking in legitimate looking apps on Google Play, which have been downloaded over four million times.

The malware family uses a common obfuscation technique known as packing that enables apps to hide their maliciousness from Google's scanners by compressing or encrypting the executable file before it's uploaded to Play Store.

As the second cyber-attack on Android devices in the past year, at least 50 apps were infected by ExpensiveWall after being collectively downloaded between 1 million and 4.2 million times.

Security researchers are warning Android users about a major malware outbreak that recently infiltrated the Google Play Store. The most important expansion, at least for the majority of our Audience was the launching of Voice apps in Australia earlier this month. Google's recently announced Play Protect should also be able to remove malicious apps from infected devices, but that might not happen on older versions of Android or on those where users have disabled Play Protect protection.

Until today if you wanted to find an Assistant App you had to go through the discover tab app by app as they were listed in the various categories.

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