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Ad Plus instead of AdBlock Plus


This is one of those scenarios where the user looks for protection
but only finds problems.? Sergio de los Santos, a
friend of mine, has shared with me a link to a false App that
pretends to be AdBlock Plus, the well-known and useful application
that many users have in their web browsers. At the time of its
download, the application was active in Google Play and all who
downloaded it, instead of the App blocking non-desired ads on their
web browser, received the exact opposite- more ads and more problems
related to data privacy.

I say this because at analyzing its code, one could notice that it
is in fact an Adware. Kaspersky Anti-Virus detects it as HEUR:AdWare.AndroidOS.Starsys.b

But what exactly does this malicious application do once installed
on the victim?s device? The answer is it does many things, among
which are:

android.permission.READ_LOGS (reads the archive logs of your
device, which include sensitive personal data of the user)
android.permission.BLUETOOTH (interacts with the bluetooth
confirguration with the capacity to alter it and allow incoming
connections from other devices that are within the protocol?s reach)
android.permission.INTERNET (provides applications necessary
access to the Internet)
android.permission.RECEIVE_SMS (interacts with SMS messages,
reads them and could even delete them without the victim?s consent)
android.permission.READ_CONTACTS (has access to all of the
contacts in your agenda)

The Adware is monetized through RevMob
The same RevMob page explains how this works:

?A simple and effective ad unit invites the user to download a
free app. You get paid for clicks and installs. ?

This is the use the creators of Adblock Plus have for this false
App. Thankfully, at the time of writing this post, the malicious App
had already been removed.

Follow me on twitter: @dimitribest

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