Armor for Android resurfaces as Android’s Antivirus. A fake anti-virus app has re-emerged on Android devices, according to security researchers.
A fake anti-virus app has re-emerged on Android devices, according to security researchers.
According to a blog post by Nathan Collier, senior malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, the app, called Andriod’s Antivirus, appeared. He said it was “clearly a repackaged variant of Armor for Android”.
Collier said that when Armor of Android first came out in 2013, he discovered it while playing a free game downloaded from Google Play. The app was free but had ads, one of which claimed the smartphone was infected with a virus.
He decided to investigate it and clicked Download & Scan FREE Now, and it started to download a file named Scan-For-Viruses-Now.apk.
“After the download, I landed on a known Armor for Android web page that instructs you to allow unknown sources and again to download and install an app,” he said.
He added that it was very odd for a legitimate AV company to instruct mobile users to download directly from their website rather than pointing them to Google Play.
This particular app insisted on a payment of US$ 1.99 (£1.47) to scan the device and this was a per weekly payment.
“Fake AVs like the one described above have been around for a long time and come in many different forms. Some can be extremely dangerous. For legitimate antivirus/anti-malware programs to do their jobs, special permissions must be given,” he said.
He said that legitimate antivirus apps use device administration as required to remediate ransomware, but because of the elevated permissions needed, consumers need to take extra caution when choosing antivirus apps on smart devices. “Give those same rights to a malicious Fake AV app, and you could be in trouble.”
“Unfortunately, it’s often hard to tell what is a Fake AV versus a legitimate antivirus/anti-malware mobile app—especially when Fake AVs creep into Google Play and take time to create a convincing website,” he said.
He added that consumers should do their research to pick apps from respectable software companies.
This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com