Researchers from various universities have created MassVet, a tool that can identify malicious Android apps. . The scan found 127,429 programs of this type in various virtual stores of the operating system.
In the Google Play Store , Google’s official store, more than 30,000 potential downloadable viruses were detected as legitimate applications.
MassVet analyzed a total of 1.2 million applications, distributed in 33 virtual stores. The tool investigates similar apps in the same web store to find possible uses of repackaging: a technique used by hackers to hide small bits of malicious code within legitimate programs.
A serious point raised by the study is that hackers who had their software banned from Google Play face little difficulty launching them again: among the 30,552 potential malware, 2,125 are applications that have already been deleted once. Of this total, 604 are confirmed viruses that have reappeared in the store without any modification from previously banned versions.
Another warning is that the developers behind these virtual pests have launched a total of 829 apps with different names in the Google store, all containing some harmful code.
The survey also found that out of a total of 127,429 malicious applications distributed across a number of stores, there are 20 zero-day malware that exploit serious vulnerabilities unknown to system developers. This type of virus poses a serious threat as it uses holes that have not yet been fixed.
According to the developers, in addition to MassVet offering deeper analysis, it has the advantage of verifying each application in just 10 seconds. However, Google’s system runs the app in a simulated environment and searches for dangerous code through a longer process that is unable to identify traces of repackaging .