Popular Android Barcode App Installs Malware

Source: Malwarebytes

From our partner Malwarebytes comes this news. If you are one of the millions of Android users that installed the LavaBird Barcode Scanner application from the Google Play store, you’ll want to get it off your phone ASAP as the app secretly installed malware onto every Android phone that downloaded it.

I’ll tell you how to check if you have the app in a minute.

What’s really interesting is that the app was legitimate and clean at first. It was launched in 2017 by a company called LavaBird and back then contained no malware. It had over 10 million downloads from the Play Store but on November 25 of last year, LavaBird sold its ownership of the app to an account named “the space team.”

The new owner snuck a nasty piece of malware into the most recent update. The updated version now allows your phone to be completely controlled by someone else. This is known as a Buy to Infect scheme.

And the bad guys didn’t waste any time as they began hijacking browsers and redirecting them to pages containing advertisements – that I’m sure they got paid for.

Google has removed this app from the Play Store now that the malware has been detected but if you have it on your phone, you’ll have to manually remove it yourself. Here’s how to check (exact steps can vary slightly depending on your Android version):

Settings > Apps > See all…apps > Barcode Scanner > App Details in store. This should take you to the listing in the Google Play store. If the Google Play Store listing doesn’t exist, you have the bad Barcode Scanner app and should uninstall it asap.

Consider installing the Barcode Scanner from ZXing Team instead.

And a reminder – with more remote workers, your organization needs to extend protection and monitoring to all remote devices. If you’re unsure how to do this, call us for a free consultation.

Everyone stay safe out there!