Report: Common Android barcode scanner app discovered to harbor malware

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 2

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

  • A preferred Android barcode scanner app has been outed as malicious.
  • Barcode Scanner was found to harbor a trojan that opens bogus websites and prompts app downloads.
  • The app has since been faraway from the Google Play Retailer.

Some standard Google Play Retailer apps could seem innocent at first, however a brand new report reminds us that we should always at all times be cognizant that apps can change. Malwarebytes (h/t: 9to5Google) has found {that a} standard barcode scanner app is contaminated with malware.

The app in query, merely known as Barcode Scanner, is developed by Lavabird Ltd. Per its title, it’s a free app that allows scanning of barcodes and QR codes. Whereas free apps often make use of promoting SDKs which are likely to develop overly aggressive at instances, Malwarebytes explains that this wasn’t the case with Barcode Scanner.

As a substitute, a brand new replace pushed to the app added strains of malicious code. The safety agency found that this was a trojan, particularly Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.AdQR. The malicious code additionally used “heavy obfuscation to keep away from detection,” the report provides.

The malware targets customers by routinely launching the browser, loading bogus web sites and popups, and prompting the set up of malicious apps.

Earlier than the malware difficulty was uncovered, Barcode Scanner was a well-liked app. It featured a four-star ranking on the app retailer with over 73,000 opinions. The Play Retailer suggests the app had been put in by over 10 million customers. Nonetheless, since Malwarebytes’ report, the app has been removed from the Play Retailer solely.

Do you will have Barcode Scanner put in?

There are a slew of barcode scanner apps on the Play Retailer, however you’re in search of a selected product with the bundle identify com.qrcodescanner.barcodescanner. You probably have this specific app put in, it could be finest to ditch it instantly.

It’s not unusual for malicious apps to make their method onto the Play Retailer. Though Google has put layers of safety and checks in place to mitigate this, these buffers aren’t at all times sufficient. However within the case of Barcode Scanner, it’s fairly robust to weed out seemingly protected apps from sudden trojans.

Should you’re seeking to up the safety in your gadget, we now have an inventory of security apps and antivirus apps for Android.

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