Cybercriminals are exploiting the popularity of the multiplayer game to distribute malware.
- More than 75% of the imposter apps discovered install malware onto end-user devices
- Several of the discovered apps have been turned into malware droppers
- The apps are coded to use the real package name of Among Us! in order to trick users
More than 75% of the imposter apps discovered have been repackaged to incorporate malicious code, the majority of which turns the legitimate game into adware, a form of malware that automatically generates advertising screens over the app’s usual interface.
Several of the apps discovered were also found to have been turned into ‘malware droppers’, which are often used to install more severe types of malware, such as banker malware, that attempts to steal banking credentials from users.
These more dangerous strains of malware have the potential to steal login credentials (usernames and passwords) as well as other personally identifiable information.
The apps use the name com.innersloth.spacemafia, the real package name of Among Us! on Android, are being distributed from at least nine different authors, and are available to download from several unofficial sources such as third-party app stores and websites.
Parents and children alike to pay extra attention
Tom Lysemose Hansen, CTO of Promon comments: “Cybercriminals and, more specifically, malware designers, are paying close attention to the rise and fall of popular gaming trends in order to decide upon their next target.
The concern here is that this particular game is very popular amongst young people, who are generally unconcerned with mobile app security and will download not only what they think is a legitimate version of the game, but also mods, maps, skins, and resource packs, without any consideration of how dangerous the source may be.
We urge parents and children alike to pay extra attention to these kinds of attacks as it is becoming common practice to side-load games onto devices, especially if those games have been banned from official app stores.”
Petr Dvořák, CEO of Wultra, adds: “The findings of this research are extremely concerning and prove just how quickly cybercrime evolves. Cybercriminals are utilising simple forms of malware, acting as a parasite within popular games to generate revenue from ads.
Mobile cybercrime is real and should not be underestimated. Only download apps from trusted sources, even if you think that the app you are downloading from a third-party is legitimate.”