Android Trojan signs victims for subscription payments, affects millions

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Android users need to keep their guards up at all times owing to the numerous hack attacks that have bugged the platform for long. Now a potentially dangerous Trojan going by the name GriftHorse has so far affected more than 10 million Android users who’ve been exposed to the malware in the most finicky manner. The highly malicious code line has trojanized around 200 apps in the Play Store and other stores – smartly subscribing the innocent victims to a mobile service without their will to mint monthly charges.

Mobile security firm Zimperium unearthed the GriftHorse Android Trojan which has been bugging Android devices ever since 2020. The lure used by the hackers to infect is by prompting the users to claim a free gift which directs the user to a website and asks for the phone number.

According to Zimperium researchers Aazim Yaswant and Nipun Gupta, as soon as the device is infected with the GriftHorse Trojan, the victim’s phone is “bombarded with alerts on the screen.” These pop-ups reappear at a rate of five times per hour until the user is lured into accepting them.

Once the victim signs for the phone number, in reality, they actually commit to a recurring subscription fee for a phony service that offers nothing but dismay. Depending on the country the victim is in, the fee amounts to around $42 a month and since it is an SMS-based subscription, the amount is passed to the network carrier in the monthly bill.

The Trojan that’s categorized as Fleeceware has clawed its way to users in more than 70 countries and made hundreds of millions or maybe even billions via the apps hosted on the Play Store and third-party stores. So, for someone who has been affected by the malware ever since November 2020, he/she has lost up to $500 if they didn’t pay attention to their monthly phone bills.

You can check the whole list of the affected apps in the detailed report by Zimperium, and uninstall any such apps ASAP. Some of the apps on the list include – Heart Rate and Pulse Tracker, Call Recorder Pro, Safe Lock, Bus Driving Simulator, Parallax paper 3D, SnapLens – Photo Translator, TrueCaller & TrueRecoder, Forza H Mobile 4 Ultimate Edition, FastPulse – Heart Rate Monitor, Ludo Game Classic, and countless others.

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