Android smartphones at risk of ‘Dirty Stream’ attack via Google Play Store apps- Report | Tech News

Android smartphones at risk of ‘Dirty Stream’ attack via Google Play Store apps- Report

Microsoft found a security vulnerability in several Android apps. Check how it can affect users and what they can do to protect themselves.

| Updated on: May 07 2024, 07:08 IST
Cybercrime in India in 2023: WFH scams and Illegal lending apps top list, reveals I4C report
Android smartphones at risk of ‘Dirty Stream’ attack via Google Play Store apps
1/5 According to the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), in 2023, the highest number of reported cybercrimes were related to Work from Home (WFH) or Part-time job scams. CEO Rajesh Kumar emphasized the prevalence of digital advertising, online messengers, and bulk SMS as common channels used by fraudsters. (unsplash)
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2/5 Illegal lending apps ranked second in contributing to cybercrimes, with a focus on operations in countries like China, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The Indian government has taken measures to block 595 suspicious apps and has whitelisted 395 instant loan apps approved by the RBI. (unsplash)
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3/5 Customer Care Number and Android malware emerged as the third-largest source of cyber fraud. Scamsters often use fake customer care numbers or install Android malware to steal sensitive information, including OTPs. (unsplash)
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4/5 Impersonation and sextortion are two widely employed tactics by cybercriminals. While Work from Home scams dominate reported cases, sextortion, primarily operated from Mewat, remains underreported due to victims' reluctance to complain. (unsplash)
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5/5 CEO Kumar highlighted the challenge of sextortion cases, revealing that approximately 19,000 such incidents were reported in the past year. The prevalence of sextortion, coupled with victims' hesitancy to report, poses a significant concern for authorities combating cybercrimes. (unsplash)
Android smartphones at risk of ‘Dirty Stream’ attack via Google Play Store apps
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Microsoft spotted a “Dirty stream” attack on Android apps, check details. (Pexels)

Are you an Android smartphone user? A major security vulnerability has been spotted in Android apps by Microsoft, putting your device apps at huge risk. The security vulnerability is being called a “Dirty stream” attack which could give malicious actors a chance to hijack popular apps or access sensitive information from the Android apps. The Dirty Stream malware could impact several apps on your device, which requires urgent action to avoid any potential scams. Know about the security vulnerability and how you can safeguard your device.

What is the “Dirty stream” attack?

A dirty stream attack is a “path traversal-affiliated vulnerability pattern” which was found by Microsoft in a recent investigation. According to a Microsoft report, the vulnerability has the ability to manipulate your device, giving hackers a chance to take advantage of the flaw and hack your Android apps.

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The company highlighted that the threat could expose our Android devices to arbitrary code execution and token theft. The threat has affected several popular apps in terms of how they share information with other apps. Microsoft said, “We identified several vulnerable applications in the Google Play Store that represented over four billion installations.” These popular apps include Xiaomi Inc.'s File Manager, WPS Office, and others. However, the issue can only be fixed via the app's update.

How Android users can safeguard their devices

  • Avoid sideloading apps as they may contain malicious codes. Strictly download apps from official app stores such as Google Play Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, or Amazon Appstore.
  • Make sure to enable Google Play Protect as it thoroughly scans for viruses in new and existing Android apps.
  • Take advantage of third-party Android antivirus apps such as Macfee to protect your device from hacking, malicious codes, viruses, and other threats.
  • Keep your Android devices updated with the latest OS upgrades and security patches to fix device vulnerabilities and bugs. This will keep your device safe as well as in optimal performance.

These are some of the necessary steps which users need to follow to protect their electronic devices and avoid becoming a victim of scams.

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First Published Date: 06 May, 09:45 IST