APKPure, a popular third-party and unofficial alternative hub to download Android and iOS applications, was recently infiltrated with malware that is used to download Trojans to other Android devices.
Even though Google Play is the most official Android app store, some vendors avoid using it because it is only available on devices that use Google Mobile Services (GMS) so the vendors not wanting to use GMS libraries, choose to be independent and use alternative stores such as APKPure.
These app stores only host free or shareware apps and even though APKPure’s owners say that all the apps in its shops are all clean and scanned by Google, researchers have found that APKPure itself is not quite as safe.
It appears that APKPure version 3.17.18 has been tampered with in an attempt to trick the oblivious users into downloading and installing malicious applications linked to the malicious code built into the APKPure app. This is achieved through the advertisement SDK that has been embedded with a Trojan dropper being fitted into the new version 3.17.18.
This discovery was reported by researchers from Doctor Web and Kaspersky who also found that when launched, the Trojan runs a payload that can show ads on the lock screen, open browser tabs, collect device information, and most importantly, download other malware onto Android devices.
“This trojan belongs to the dangerous Android.Triada malware family capable of downloading, installing, and uninstalling software without users’ permission,” Doctor Web researchers said.
However, the developers at APKPure acted fast and responded to the findings by releasing a new version of the app (version 3.17.19) on April 9 that removed the malicious component previously talked about. They stated in the release notes, “Fixed a potential security problem, making APKPure safer to use.
Whether you are on Android or iOS install apps from a third-party store is always risky. It is recommended to only download an app after properly verifying its developer and refrain from filling your device with unnecessary apps.
Additionally, as a security precaution, keep your phone updated and scan it regularly with a reliable anti-malware solution.