Through WhatsApp, a new malware that offers a free Netflix subscription for two months has spread across Android phones. The “wormable” malware was discovered in the Google Play Store, according to Check Point Research (CPR), a group of researchers who gather and analyse global cyber attack data.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has bound us to our homes for both work and entertainment, malware takes advantage of this. The ransomware, dubbed “FlixOnline,” resembled the original Netflix software and targeted WhatsApp, the most commonly downloaded chat app.
According to recent news, the Google Play Store has taken notice of the ransomware program and has deleted it from its collection of games. Due to the pandemic, the game, which pretended to be Netflix, offered “unlimited content” and a free two-month Netflix rental.
According to a ZDNet article, if a user instals the programme, the malware will automatically react to incoming messages with this material.
“Get 2 Months of Netflix Premium Free anywhere in the world for 60 days for REASON OF QUARANTINE (CORONA VIRUS)*.” When you launch the app, you’ll be asked for overlay and notification permissions. The latter enables “FlixOnline” to automatically respond to WhatsApp messages. The malware, according to the researchers, was designed to collect valuable passwords and credit card information until it was downloaded and run on every Android phone.
According to Check Point, the malware was on the Google Play Store for at least two months and fooled 500 users. Despite the fact that the app has been removed, they cautioned that “the malware family is certainly here to stay and could return concealed in a different app.”
According to another article on Thread Post, malicious applications are not uncommon in the Google App Store. It was recorded that nine applications with malicious malware were discovered on the Android app store in March alone.
Attackers use these applications to steal financial information from Android phones. In January, Google removed 164 applications from its store that had been downloaded a total of ten million times. According to the study, these apps were also distributing destructive advertisements.