How to Protect an Android Device from Versioning Attacks

Versioning is a common tactic malicious actors use to slip malware on Android devices after evading the Google Play Store‘s review process and security controls. In this blog post, Eagle Tech will explain what versioning is, how it works, and what users can do to protect their devices from it.

Read: How to Avoid Losing the Google Account Due to Inactivity

What is versioning?

Versioning is a technique that involves introducing malicious payloads through updates delivered to already installed applications or by loading the malicious code from servers under the threat actors’ control in what is known as dynamic code loading (DCL).

How does versioning work?

Versioning works by exploiting the trust that users have in the applications they download from the Google Play Store. The attackers first upload a benign version of their app to the store, which passes the review process and security controls. Then, they either update the app with a malicious version or use DCL to load malicious code from a remote server.

What are the risks of versioning?

Versioning can expose any device to various types of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, banking trojans, or adware. These malware can steal personal information, lock the device or files, display unwanted ads, or redirect the user to phishing sites.

How to protect any Android device from versioning?

The Google Cloud security team has acknowledged the versioning threat and has taken steps to prevent it. However, users can also take some measures to protect the device from versioning attacks, such as:

– Only download apps from trusted sources and developers.

– Check the app permissions and reviews before installing or updating an app.

– Avoid clicking on suspicious links or pop-ups that prompt the user to install or update an app.

– Use a reputable antivirus or security app on the device.

– Keep the device and apps updated with the latest security patches.

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Android Device

Foto de Jonas Leupe en Unsplash.

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