With one update, this malicious Android app hijacked millions of devices
Google Play has been battling malicious apps for years, and the most recent to sneak into the Play Store has hijacked roughly 10 million devices. The application in question is a popular barcode scanner app that was transformed into malware with one update. The app had been available on the app repository for several years, racking up 10 million installs. The application functions as a QR code reader and barcode generator that appeared to be legitimate and trustworthy software.
Malwarebytes reported that adverts began appearing unexpectedly on their Andriod devices. This is a key sign of malicious content or infection on the device, according to security professionals. After investigating the repeated incidents, security researchers were able to pin the barcode scanner app as the culprit. On December 4, 2020, a software update was issued for the application, turning it into adware overnight and infecting millions of devices. According to researchers, this technique is becoming more common.