Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Over 9 million people affected Hundreds of mobile games infected with Trojans

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Millions of users downloaded games that were infected with malware in the Huawei app store. Russian security experts have found that out.

The smartphone division of the Chinese technology giant Huawei is still under pressure. Since 2019, the US government has sanctioned the company and prohibited it from selling products on the American market.

In addition, the Chinese group is also prohibited from equipping its smartphones with Google’s Android operating system and the associated services.

Since the Google Play Store could no longer be used on current Huawei models, the Chinese company developed its own operating system and an in-house counterpart to the Play Store, the so-called AppGallery. Owners of Huawei smartphones can now download apps there.

Doctor Web’s Russian security experts found out that dozens of games and applications in the AppGallery were infected with a Trojan horse.

In total, the infected apps were downloaded and installed on their smartphones by over 9 million Huawei users.

The malware with the name “Android.Cynos.7.origin” is designed to spy out the personal data of the affected user. The infected app does this by asking users to give them access to the phone’s call settings.

The infected app asks users to access the phone.  (Source: Doctor Web) The infected app asks users to access the phone. (Source: Doctor Web)

If the users of the app had granted this access, the Trojan could not only find out the phone number of the smartphone, but also locate the location of the user and call up technical settings and network parameters.

In the further course of the process, the Trojan could, for example, use the collected data to display targeted malicious advertising or to download other applications without asking and install them on the phone.

The malware was found in 190 games from the AppGallery. From simulations to puzzle games, first-person shooters and card games, a large number of popular genres were represented by users.

According to the security experts, more than 9.3 million users have downloaded and installed the applications. Not only was every user addressed worldwide, but national markets were also targeted.

One of the affected apps: "Cat adventures" was installed over 427,000 times.  (Source: Doctor Web)One of the affected apps: “Cat adventures” was installed over 427,000 times. (Source: Doctor Web)

The malware was found in Russian-language titles as well as in Chinese and English-language applications. A first-person shooter aimed primarily at a Chinese audience has been downloaded over two million times alone.

Huawei was made aware of the serious security vulnerability by Doctor Web. All affected applications and games have been removed from Huawei’s AppGallery.

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