All Trick, No Treat: Fraudulent Zombie Apps Return to Google Play Store

Just in time for Halloween, zombie apps are back in the Google Play Store.

And, this time, it’s all tricks and no treats.

Anura, the next generation fraud protection software from eZanga that identifies bots, malware, and human fraud, has announced a re-emergence of fraudulent live wallpaper apps in the Google Play Store.

Since Aug. 28, 2017, three developers, all with Gmail accounts, have uploaded 43 zombie apps, which may have been downloaded more than 1.1 million times.

According to a provided statement, Anura discovered that new fraudulent wallpaper apps are manipulating a zero-click model, where a phone doesn’t have to actually be touched to generate a click, but have altered the script slightly enough to slip past Google Play Protect and other traffic detectors.

“Like a stolen red car painted black to avoid detection, these apps are barely changed from what we found only a few months ago,” said Joe Rodichok, Director of Engineering and Technology at eZanga. “These fraudsters are simply altering one part of their code in order to make it undetectable to Google.”

To view the app fraud findings and full white paper, click here.