McAfee Mobile Research Team has discovered Popular Android Apps infected with privacy-invasive Goldoson adware. The adware uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS information, and performs ad fraud by clicking advertisements without user consent. The malicious library has been found in over 60 popular apps downloaded more than 100 million times from ONE store and Google Play markets in South Korea. Read on to find out how to protect yourself from this dangerous adware.
McAfee’s Mobile Research Team recently uncovered a harmful software library called Goldoson that has been found in over 60 apps downloaded more than 100 million times from Google Play and ONE store in South Korea. This adware can invade user privacy by gathering lists of installed apps and tracking Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS information for nearby devices. The library can also perform ad fraud by clicking on advertisements in the background without user consent. Although the malicious library was created by a third party, not the app developers, it still poses a risk to those who downloaded the affected apps.
McAfee’s Mobile Security software detects this threat and provides protection against it and other mobile threats. The company is part of the App Defense Alliance, which aims to enhance app quality and protect users from threats throughout the network. McAfee promptly reported the discovered apps to Google, which acted by notifying the developers of the policy violation and removing some apps from Google Play while updating others. Users are urged to update their apps to the latest version to remove the Goldoson threat from their devices.
The Goldoson adware runs by registering the device and receiving remote configurations simultaneously. The name and the remote server domain vary with each application, and the library periodically checks, pulls device information, and sends them to the remote servers based on specified parameters. This adware poses a threat to user privacy and highlights the importance of regularly updating apps to ensure the latest security features are in place.
The launch of Android 14 Beta 1 brings new hope as new security features will help prevent such adware from infected applications. Until then Google can learn from their rival OpenAI and launch a Bug Bounty Program to catch more such adware and viruses
Source: McAfee’s Mobile Research Team