Some Android apps on the Samsung Galaxy Store might infect your phone with malware, so remove them

No matter what device you connect to the internet from, you should always watch out for scams. They usually come in the form of phishing emails, suspicious texts, or apps infested with Trojan horses. Fortunately, if you remain vigilant, you can avoid most scams. But some are more difficult to avoid than others. For example, Samsung seems to host a selection of apps on the Galaxy Store that could end up infecting your phone with malware. You might even have them on your Android right now.

Samsung’s Galaxy Store has a malware issue

Earlier this week, Android Police Writer Max Weinbach called Samsung on Twitter for distributing malware-laden apps through its mobile app store. While searching for the Hulu app in the Galaxy Store, Weinbach came across a series of shady movie streaming apps:

Shortly after Weinbach tweeted about the problematic apps, Android Police started to dig. The site discovered that the specific app pictured in the tweet is a clone of an older movie hacking app called Showbox. Several were available on the Galaxy Store earlier this week, but I couldn’t find any more on December 30. Samsung may have taken action after reports started to surface.

According to Android Police, Virustotal revealed that one of the apps triggered nearly 20 alerts on clicker Trojans, malware, risky software, etc. Apps also ask for permissions that they shouldn’t need, including access to user contacts, call logs, and the phone app.

Android Police contacted the Android security analyst linuxct for his thoughts on the subject:

Further investigation revealed that the application’s ad technology is capable of executing dynamic code. could include malware. Linuxct added that there are very few legitimate use cases for this feature and that it could be easily militarized. “So anytime it can turn into a trojan / malware so it’s dangerous and that’s why so many vendors reported it in VT / Play Protect. “

Malware, hacking and more

Beyond the fact that these apps could infect phones and tablets, Showbox was a major hub for pirated content. Presumably, clone apps attempt to provide a similar service. These apps probably shouldn’t be available on an official app store, even if they are clean. In addition, the real Showbox application no longer exists. Android Police refers us to a Reddit article from last March:

The application is down. At this time, there is no indication that he is coming back anytime soon. If and when it does, an announcement will be made here. […] There are no legitimate alternatives with the name ‘ShowBox’. Any website or application claiming to be ShowBox is fake.

With all of this in mind, it’s hard to see why Samsung allowed apps on the Galaxy Store. As often as we write about malware on Android devices, it is disheartening to see Samsung falter when it comes to quality assurance. Needless to say, if you’ve downloaded any suspicious movie streaming apps from the Galaxy Store in the past few months, you should probably delete them. Prevention is better than cure.

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About Laura J. Bell

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