Posted: 1 Min ReadNorton Labs

Fake Covid-19 apps hit Android devices with malware

Following the trend

In the context of the global pandemic, it is expected that some threat actors will try to take advantage of the huge interest in COVID-19 news, leading to the creation of fake android apps.

Searching through our data, we found that a large percentage of coronavirus-themed apps are indeed malware. We examined the types of malwares commonly found in these apps, the risks they pose, the number of infected devices, and their geographic targets.

The Hunt

We selected Android Packages (APKs) by identifying apps containing “covid” or “coronavirus” in the package name, application label, filename, or download URL.

We found 2,293 apps, which we downloaded for further analysis. Out of those, 447 applications turned out to be malicious. A closer look at the data reveals more details – some malicious apps pose a greater risk than others, some are targeting specific countries, and the risk depends a lot on where the file is downloaded from.

Learn more about what we found by reviewing and downloading our paper below. 

File Attachments

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About the Author

Mihai Grigorescu

Principal Threat Analysis Engineer

Mihai Grigorescu is a threat researcher and software engineer and is focused on the analysis of Android malware and development of automated analysis technologies. He has more than seven years of experience working in the security industry.

About the Author

Gokulakrishnan S

Sr. Threat Analysis Engineer

Gokulakrishnan is Sr. Threat Analysis Engineer at Nortonlifelock with 11 years of experience in Malware Analysis, Incident Response & Digital Forensics. He is an expert in monitoring and researching emerging threats.

About the Author

Armin Buescher

Sr. Principal Security Researcher, Norton Protection Labs

Armin Buescher is a security researcher and software engineer for Norton Protection Labs and is focused on the analysis of attack trends and development of novel detection technologies. He has more than 10 years of experience working in the security industry.

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