January 26, 2022


Latest technological developments

Barcode Scanner Android App Pushed Malware On to Thousands and thousands

Picture: Tomohiro Ohsumi (Getty Images)

A common application has been eliminated from Google Perform soon after it was found out to have sent trojanized malware onto thousands and thousands of users’ telephones by way of an update.

Right up until not too long ago, Barcode Scanner was a simple software that provided customers with a simple QR code reader and barcode generator, valuable for items like making buys and redeeming bargains. The application, which has been about because at least 2017, is owned by developer Lavabird Ldt., and claims to have about 10 million downloads, the Wayback Device displays.

Even so, a rash of malicious activity was not too long ago traced back to the app. Users started noticing something odd heading on with their telephones: their default browsers retained receiving hijacked and redirected to random adverts, seemingly out of nowhere. For a selection of people today, it was not very clear what was leading to the disruptions—as lots of hadn’t not long ago downloaded any apps. Right after more than enough peeved victims wrote about their ordeals on a world-wide-web discussion board, a single consumer ultimately pointed the finger at Barcode.

Researchers with Malwarebytes have verified the scanner is the culprit, releasing a new report that displays it delivered the advertisement-producing malware onto users’ phones, almost certainly by way of a December update. The update spoiled the earlier benign app—taking it from “an innocent scanner to entire on malware,” scientists write.

Screenshot: Lucas Ropek: Wayback Device/Google Perform

Scientists distinguish Barcode’s ad-pushing malware from simple ad SDKs—programs made use of by publishers to start in-app marketing for monetization purposes—claiming that “this was not the case” with Barcode Scanner. Whoever injected the malicious code utilised large obfuscation to cover the fact that it was there, scientists say, incorporating that the application seems to have been intentionally reworked from a standard application into a destructive one by means of the update. They create:

It is horrifying that with a person update an app can convert malicious though heading less than the radar of Google Enjoy Secure. It is baffling to me that an application developer with a well-liked app would flip it into malware. Was this the scheme all along, to have an app lie dormant, ready to strike soon after it reaches popularity? I guess we will in no way know.

Though Google has yanked Barcode Scanner from its app retail store, it is not long gone from impacted units. People of the app will even now have to manually uninstall it from their telephones.

Barcode Scanner’s proprietor, Lavabird Ltd., was integrated in 2020 and is registered at an deal with in London, according to accessible on the web information. The company’s director, Dmytro Kizema, resides in Ukraine.

Gizmodo has attained out to Lavabird and will update if we listen to back again.

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