In a bid to make Android ecosystem even more secure, Google has now removed 300 apps from the Play Store for their notorious behaviour. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have surged in the recent past and this step by the internet giant is in that direction. It was only after a number of content delivery networks (CDNs) were affected that one of them discovered a botnet.
The botnet we’re talking about here is WireX that has been active since the first week of August but could only be discovered on August 17 when several CDNs and content providers got affected. The malicious apps were being masked as legit ones and were used to hijack the Android devices they were installed on and ultimately create large-scale DDoS attacks. The botnet has also been said to work as a ransomware in some cases.
Akamai became the first one to discover the botnet after it affected one of its clients. The researchers at Akamai joined hands with their counterparts at Google, Oracle, CloudFlare, Oracle Dyn, Flashpoint, RiskIQ, Team Cymru, and others to prevent the attack from spreading further.
Soon after, the malicious apps were identified by Google and the removal process started. Close to 300 apps have been identified that carried a face of storage managers, ringtones, etc. but were found to be involved in DDoS attacks. Google has already taken them down from the Play Store and removing them from the affected devices is under process. The company informed that there are over 70,000 devices affected by these apps spread over 100 countries.
Learning from this incident, the aforementioned firms have formed an alliance to fight against the increasing DDoS attacks on Android ecosystem. They will be mutually sharing the attacks information along with other data and metrics to curb any such attack much before it does a mass damage.
Google will also be using its machine learning capabilities to keep Android safe from such attacks in the future. The company had recently launched the Google Play Protect feature for Android that will regularly scan the apps to keep the malicious ones at bay.
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