Upstream's cybersecurity researchers have discovered that malicious software stole millions of euros from users of the Android application "ai.type," reports Phonandroid. Available on the Google Play Store, it allows you to add custom emojis to your smartphone keyboard. The discovered malware "would subscribe users to premium services without their consent".
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The malware would have attempted to collect nearly $ 18 million (about 16 million) on the bank accounts of users. "14 million suspicious transaction requests have been blocked," Upstream researchers say in their report. But millions of people would still have been hacked. "Innocent users pay for unauthorized hidden shopping," says Dimitris Maniatis, researcher at Upstream.
The deleted application
In addition, the report reveals that once installed on smartphones, the malware generates millions of false clicks and invisible advertisements, which allows him to garner large advertising revenues. "The market for mobile advertising fraud accounts for about $ 40 billion a year," said Upstream, relayed by Phonandroid.
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Alerted to the presence of this malware, Google decided to remove the application "ai.type" from its Play Store in July 2019. Unfortunately, millions of users had already downloaded. People who have installed this application on their smartphone are asked to quickly remove it and check their bank statements.