Samsung’s Galaxy Store Contains Apps That Could Infect Phones With Malware: Report

Some Galaxy Store apps are allegedly requesting more permissions like access to contacts, call logs, and the phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Store Contains Apps That Could Infect Phones With Malware: Report

Photo Credit: Samsung

Analysis of the suspected apps’ APKs indicated multiple low-grade alerts

Highlights
  • Samsung Galaxy Store reportedly include potentially harmful apps
  • Tipster Max Weinbach has found issues with at least five apps in a row
  • Samsung Galaxy Store reportedly features several clones of Showbox app

Samsung Galaxy Store is reportedly hosting and distributing several apps that can infect customers' devices with malware. Tipster Max Weinbach first spotted the issue in a few Showbox-based apps on the Samsung Galaxy Store. These apps are said to include malware and Google's Play Protect was able to spot it soon after they got installed. Additionally, analysis carried out by online virus and malware scanning service Virustotal on the Showbox-based apps distributed on the Galaxy Store showed low-grade alerts as well. Some of the apps are said to be asking for excessive permissions, including access to the phone.

As per a report by Android Police, different Showbox movie piracy app clones offered by Samsung through its Galaxy Store may be able to infect devices with malware. Tipster Max Weinbach spotted the issue first and posted his experience on Twitter saying that a similar type of issue was previously discovered on Huawei phones. According to him, while downloading Showbox-based apps from the Galaxy store, Google's Play Protect warning has activated, stopping the install. At least five of the Showbox-based apps were possibly malicious, says Weinbach.

As per the report, Virustotal's analysis of the suspected apps' APKs indicated multiple low-grade alerts including riskware and adware. Some apps are also said to be asking for unnecessary permissions, like access to contacts, call logs, and the phone.

The report also says malicious Galaxy Store apps were further investigated by a mobile security analyst linuxct, which said these apps contain ad tech capable of dynamic code execution. This means, the app itself as it is distributed may not directly include malware, but it can download and execute other code, which could have malware.

These apps are reportedly said to be clones of the ShowBox app and can thus, spread pirated content to users' devices. According to the Showbox subreddit, Showbox is down for around two years. "There are no legitimate alternatives bearing the 'ShowBox' name. Any websites or apps purporting to be ShowBox are fakes", read the post.


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Nithya P Nair
Nithya P Nair is a journalist with more than five years of experience in digital journalism. She specialises in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking in Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations. More
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