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Judy Malware Downloaded Over 36M Times

Judy Malware Takes Android Devices By Storm

A malicious software called Judy malware, was inserted into over 40 different apps found within the Google Play store.  These infected applications were downloaded over 36 million times since March 2017.  It is expected this malware has been running wild since March, infecting an unknown number of devices.

However, the Google Play store has a control in place to mitigate the risk of malware being distributed through Google Play.  This control is called “Google Bouncer”.  If this control was in place, how did the malware go undetected?  According to the BCC, the apps don’t actually include the malware.  Once a user downloads the impacted app, it silently registers the device to a remote server. This server then sends the malicious software to open a hidden website and generate revenue for the site by clicking on the advertisements.

A full list of the infected apps has not been released; however, the all of the impacted apps were placed in the Google Play store by a South Korean developer under the name Enistudio.  The impacted apps have since been removed from the Google Play store.

Stay Protected

Keeping mobile devices protected has become a higher priority than ever before.  Unfortunately, the Google Bouncer failed at properly vetting these malicious apps.  Having a secondary option, instead of relying on app store security, should now be a priority.  However, finding a security solution mobile devices can be difficult, depending on the type of device.

In this particular instance, Android devices were targeted.  PC Matic does provide security protection for Android devices.  This protection is available at the Google Play store.  Alternative solutions are available as well for different devices.  It is advised, smart phone users determine which device they have and find a security solution that is best suited to protect that device.

Also, users must be aware of what they are downloading.  As we saw with “Judy”, not all apps are safe, even if they are found within an app store.  Often times users search for something vague, such as “free games”.  Many may be legitimate, but some may be malicious.  Instead of downloading every app that is found to be slightly interesting, users should research them online to confirm their legitimacy.  Even malicious apps have falsified reviews, so going by those are not always the safest bet either.

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11 thoughts on “Judy Malware Downloaded Over 36M Times”

  1. My other computers are covered by PC MATIC, IS MY Android also covered now? If I remember correctly you didn’t cover Androids when I signed up. I’ve been a customer for a few years now.

    1. Loxi, you can download PC Matic for Android from the Google Play store. Just log in with your PC Matic account after installing the application.

    2. Kayla Thrailkill

      It is not automatically added to your license, but you can add it. You will just need to download PC Matic for Android devices via the Google Play store. Once you have it on your phone, login with your PC Matic account details and it will be added as one of your five devices.

  2. These article just cries out “fear mongering”. I am sure there is something to what is written, but how could not a single app name, let alone the 40 apps made by Enistudio (if you know that much, why not list them all) be included in this? You somehow came up with a number of 36M, so I would assume this would be a total of all downloads of X apps. All I am getting out of this is “install pcmatic” and nothing else.

  3. How does one know if their phone is affected? What are some of the symptoms of the malware, or do they simply steal data?

    1. Kayla Thrailkill

      It could be both. You will notice a difference in your phone functionality and/or display — not always, but often.

  4. It would be nice if you named the affected apps..
    Telling me about it in an article without substantiating the apps is USELESS to me.

    1. Kayla Thrailkill

      A full list of the impacted apps has not been released. However, they were released to the app store under the developer name Enistudio. The malicious apps have since been removed from the app store.

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