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The change in the way the malware works today may be to help finance the campaign through fraudulent ad activity.
If you’ve downloaded one of the apps listed in Appendix A, below, you might be infected.An attacker is paid by the network when one of these apps is installed successfully.Logs collected by Check Point researchers show that every day Gooligan installs at least 30,000 apps fraudulently on breached devices or over 2 million apps since the campaign began.You may review your application list in “Settings - Apps”, if you find one of this applications, please consider downloading an antivirus product such as Check Point Zone Alarm to check if you are indeed infected.We have noticed that hundreds of the email addresses are associated with enterprise accounts worldwide.After achieving root access, Gooligan downloads a new, malicious module from the C&C server and installs it on the infected device.
This module injects code into running Google Play or GMS (Google Mobile Services) to mimic user behavior so Gooligan can avoid detection, a technique first seen with the mobile malware Ad servers, which don’t know whether an app using its service is malicious or not, send Gooligan the names of the apps to download from Google Play.
Our researchers are working closely with Google to investigate the source of the Gooligan campaign.
“We’re appreciative of both Check Point’s research and their partnership as we’ve worked together to understand these issues,” said Adrian Ludwig, Google’s director of Android security.
After an app is installed, the ad service pays the attacker.
Then the malware leaves a positive review and a high rating on Google Play using content it receives from the C&C server.
The number continues to rise at an additional 13,000 breached devices each day.