According to the latest report released by network security company Trend Micro last weekend, a variety of spyware disguised as legitimate applications on Google Play Store, collecting private data without the awareness of Android users. Researchers say the spyware called MobSTSPY is currently being downloaded by users in more than 196 countries around the world.
Trend Micro specifically cited six apps on Google Play, including games like Flappy Birr Dog and Flappy Bird, a flashlight app and several simulator apps. Then Google removed 85 Android apps that carried MobSTSPY from the Play Store, with more than 9 million downloads. In particular, one of the apps called “Easy Universal TV Remote” has been downloaded more than 5 million times.
As the blog post shows, MobSTSPY uses Firebase Cloud Messaging to send information to the server. It collects a wide variety of private information, including “user location, SMS conversations, call logs and clipboard items. In addition, this spyware can also collect information by displaying fake Facebook and phishing attacks.