Over the past handful of years, Google has really amped up its efforts to keep users safe on its Android Play Store. However, it often feels like the more protections Google puts in place, the more fierce the malware gets. Today we learn of yet another piece of malware that has managed to permeate itself throughout the Play Store, and the implications of being infected with it are downright scary.
Called "SonicSpy", this piece of malware has found home in a huge number of different apps found throughout the Play Store. Most recently, it found its way into an app called Soniac, a messaging app based on another called Telegram that works as intended, but introduces some dastardly software in the background.
Security research firm Lookout found that the SonicSpy family bundles in a staggering 73 different remote instructions, including such functions as taking your photo, recording audio, making outbound calls, sending text messages, and recording a bunch of information found on the device - all without you knowing.
It's believed that SonicSpy has its origins in Iraq, and since it first appeared in the Play Store in February, it's gone on to infect over a thousand apps. With threats like these looming, antivirus software on a mobile device is starting to make a lot more sense. But, as cases like these prove, if you stick to trusted developers, and are generally careful about what you install (many of these apps looked extremely cheap and generic), you'll vastly improve your chances of not running into malicious software.