May 15, 2021

Google Play withdraws 813 ‘creepware’ apps, designed for interpersonal attacks – La Provincia


Google playhas withdrawn 813Applicationsof type ‘creepware’, a kind ofmalicious programused for interpersonal attacks, following the results of research that seeks to shed light on the ecosystem of this type of ‘malware.’

Creepware applications are a type dand malicious software designed so that a non-expert user can harm other people, through espionage, harassment, identity theft, fraud, information theft or cover-up. It also includes ‘apps’ that seek to protect victims of this type of attack.

It’s about aapplication ecosystem that goes beyond spy softwarea, more common in studies, as noted by researchers at NortonLifeLock and Cornell and New York Universities, the research authors.

These researchers have developed an algorithm, called ‘creeprank’, which uses the ‘guilty by association principle’ to identify unknown examples of ‘creeware’. Collaboration with Norton has allowedaccess a database of application installations on more than 50 million devicesAndroid, with which they have been able to work on identifying new ‘creepware’.

With this, they have discovered “awide variety of potential ‘creepware’ applications “. They manually coded a thousand applications with the highest scores given by ‘creeprank’, of which 857 could be identified as ‘creepware’. 372 spy applications were at the top of the ranking.

In total, and as the text of the study shows, the ranking identifiedmore than a million installations of different ‘apps’ of the ‘creepware’ type, which included teasing (114 applications), harassment (80 applications) and hacking tutorials (63 applications).

This investigation also allowed Google to report the presence of 1,095 ‘creepware’ applications in its digital store, of which it finally eliminated 813 for violation of terms.

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