Knowing that there are number of Android apps that are stealing the copies of the text messages received or sent to your device may leave you a bit insecure, but it is true.

It has reportedly been discovered that more than 18,000 android apps are grabbing the copies of the text messages from the infected device and sending it to the attackers’ server.

It has been found that more than 18,000 out of 63,000 Android applications that use Taomike SDK (One of the biggest mobile ad solution in China, which helps developers to display their ads on their apps to make revenue) contain a malicious code that spy on users’ text messages. The discovery was made by the researchers At Palo Alto Networks.

Taomike SDK is used by the developers for displaying the ads on their apps and for offering in-app-purchase.

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Stealing of Messages

According to the researchers not every app which is using the Taomike SDK is stealing the copies of the messages. Also they gave the detail about the stealing. According to researchers, the sample that contains the embedded URL (hxxp:// accomplishes the action. Also the software sends messages as well as the IP address of the Taomike API server used by other Taomike services to the above URL.

Since August 1 there were only 18,000 apps among 63,000 apps that are performing the action. It has also been found that some of the infected apps contain adult content and also display it.

However Google has begun preventing the apps from stealing the messages for Android 4.4 KitKat. But researchers claim that the apps are blindly fetching and uploading the messages to the attackers’ server.

Users, who are not safe?

  • The users from outside of China are assumed to be safe from this messages theft, but there is no guarantee of it.
  • The users who prefer to download the apps from somewhere else, rather than the play store are assumed to be at high risk.

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