GriftHorse Trojan has stolen millions of Android users

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The Android GriftHorse Trojan has affected more than 10 million victims worldwide, according to the investigative arm of the mobile security company. Zimperium.

Zimperium’s ZLabs recently uncovered GriftHorse, an aggressive campaign for mobile premium services, and says the total amount stolen could run into the hundreds of millions of euros. While typical premium service scams take advantage of phishing techniques, this specific global scam has hidden behind malicious Android apps that act like Trojans, allowing it to take advantage of user interactions to increase spread and infection.

These malicious Android apps appear harmless when looking at the store description and requested permissions, but this false sense of trust changes when users are charged month after month for the premium service they subscribe to without their knowledge and consent.

Forensic evidence of this active Android Trojan attack, which zLabs called GriftHorse, it suggests that the threat group has been running this campaign since November 2020. These malicious apps were initially distributed via Google Play and third-party app stores. Zimperium zLabs reported the findings to Google, who verified the information provided and removed the malicious apps from the Google Play store. However, malicious applications are still available in insecure third-party application repositories, highlighting the risk of downloading applications to mobile terminals and the need for advanced security on the device.

Read the full report by Zimperium zLabs.

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