Google removes pretend Sign and Telegram apps hosted on Play

Google removes fake Signal and Telegram apps hosted on Play

Enlarge (credit score: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Photos/LightRocket through Getty Photos)

Researchers on Wednesday stated they discovered pretend apps in Google Play that masqueraded as legit ones for the Sign and Telegram messaging platforms. The malicious apps might pull messages or different delicate info from legit accounts when customers took sure actions.

An app with the identify Sign Plus Messenger was accessible on Play for 9 months and had been downloaded from Play roughly 100 occasions earlier than Google took it down final April after being tipped off by safety agency ESET. It was additionally accessible within the Samsung app retailer and on signalplus[.]org, a devoted web site mimicking the official An app calling itself FlyGram, in the meantime, was created by the identical risk actor and was accessible via the identical three channels. Google eliminated it from Play in 2021. Each apps stay accessible within the Samsung retailer.

Each apps had been constructed on open supply code accessible from Sign and Telegram. Interwoven into that code was an espionage software tracked as BadBazaar. The Trojan has been linked to a China-aligned hacking group tracked as GREF. BadBazaar has been used beforehand to focus on Uyghurs and different Turkic ethnic minorities. The FlyGram malware was additionally shared in a Uyghur Telegram group, additional aligning it to earlier concentrating on by the BadBazaar malware household.

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