You might be using an app that is buying premium digital services without your knowledge. The worst part is Millions of Android users are using this app. This malicious app is a sneaky keyboard application that was originally released on the Play store.
The Keyboard App – Ai.type, that is stealing from the user!
The name of the keyboard app is ‘ai.type.’ This is a customizable keyboard alternative that had millions of downloads on the play store until June 2019. After which it was taken down by Google. However, many users were still using it. The app is estimated to be used by over 40 million users before it was detected by the mobile security company Upstream Systems.
How did they steal from the users?
According to Upstream Systems, the app was processing transactions on the user’s phone without their knowledge. They were causing millions of transactions each month. Most of these transactions were blocked by Secure-D, which is an Upstream security platform to stop fraudulent actions. However, not all of them were stopped. Over 1,10,000 devices had faced these secret transactions before the app malicious actions were revealed.
Upstream calculated that the app was operating this unwanted transaction in 13 countries. If all of these transactions were processed, they would have stolen 18 million USD from users. Further investigation by Secure-D, revealed that the keyboard app was also sending invisible ads and non-human clicks to the users.
Increased number of malicious apps:
Recently, a lot of apps have been discovered as malicious or fake. Last month, Google took down 15 more malicious apps from the play store. All of them were responsible for stealing sensitive data from users. We would suggest that only install apps that you absolutely require. Always check the app developers and install apps from a trusted source. Otherwise, you would expose yourself to such malicious apps.