Google removes 300 Android apps that hijacked phones

Malicious apps are quietly participating in DDoS attacks

A number of security researchers teamed up to fight the WireX botnet.(SOURCE: GOANDROID)

300 apps have been withdrawn from Google’s Play Store after several security researchers from different internet infrastructure companies found them to be secretly hijacking Android devices to supply traffic for wide-scale distributed denial of service attacks(DDoS) attacks.

The malicious apps that were removed offered services like ringtones and storage managers after researcher uncovered a certain “Wire X” botnet, which was found to be the cause.

“We identified approximately 300 apps associated with the issue, blocked them from the Play Store, and we’re in the process of removing them from all affected devices,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “The researchers’ findings, combined with our own analysis, have enabled us to better protect Android users, everywhere.”

Some security researchers say over 70,000 devices in 100 countries might have been affected and some “Wire X” attacks asking for ransom fees.

Google is using machine learning to fight these problem apps and are making aggressive moves against malicious apps.