The number of Android apps identified as malignant doubled in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2019, while the number of fraudulent transactions they led to increased 55%, according to a company report. Upstream digital security system. Developed by that company, the Secure-D platform , which earlier this year covered 31 mobile operators in 20 countries, detected more than 29,000 malicious applications between January and March. Nine of the 10 most downloaded malicious apps during the first quarter of 2020 were available on the official Android store, Google Play, where they had passed the security check . For all of 2019, the proportion of the most harmful applications on Google Play was 30% .
Six of the 10 most popular malicious apps belong to the entertainment category , which includes video and news, magazine and video playback and editing, gaming and socialization programs. “With social confinement in place in most parts of the world for much of the quarter, this indicates that scammers have targeted apps that people download to pass the time and entertain themselves, given the inability to leave home to socialize “reads the Upstream statement. The scammers especially focus on Android terminals, since that platform supports many unofficial application download sites, and thus trap users to impose paid subscriptions without them knowing it.
According to the Upstream rating, the most alarming application so far this year is Snaptube , a video downloader that has been downloaded more than 40 million times worldwide. Secure-D recorded 70 million fraudulent transactions using that application last year, more than half in Brazil, and has blocked more than 32 million this year. Snaptube is available through other digital stores. Last year, Upstream accused the Snaptube app of being a fraud screen not only for advertising clicks, but also through subscriptions or ‘premium’ digital services . In October 2019, its Chinese developer, Mobiuspace , blamed a third-party-supplied software component and recommended downloading an update that would block it. In the first quarter of this year, Upstream blocked almost 290 million fraudulent transactions, compared to 186 million in the same period last year: an increase of 55%.