The use of smartphones has been growing by leaps and bounds for years and cybercriminals are turning to that world with the creation of fake applications.
Zscaler researchers came across a fake app on Google Play a few days ago that was trying to impersonate a legitimate one called BatteryBot Pro. The package name or ID of this fake app was com.polaris.BatteryIndicatorPro and although it was quickly removed by Google, it is worth commenting on the case to be alert.
The number of applications available on Google Play is huge and many have similar names, so it is not easy to know which ones are good or bad. Therefore it is always recommended to see the comments of other users, see how many downloads they have and, above all, the permissions that are requested at the time of installation.
For example, if an application that shows the battery status requests permissions to send text messages, it would be suspicious, why do you need to send an SMS? This was exactly one of the permissions that the false application requested, among others how to download without showing notifications.
The attackers created it based on the original code they obtained from a reverse engineer, but they added some malicious modules. In addition, once it was installed, super user permissions were requested, which gave them full control of the device.
These modules allow you to send text messages to toll-free numbers, download other applications in the background, and click fraud in advertising campaigns. All things that allow them to earn money and as if this were not enough, the creators made sure of their persistence by deactivating the classic uninstall options such as those of the application manager.
It is always recommended to avoid downloading applications from markets other than the official ones, but as we see even making downloads from the official stores, you can take risks. Even if you have some basic care like the ones I mentioned before or downloading applications that are known to be 100% legitimate, there will be no problems.
When in doubt, you can always use a mobile antivirus, the vast majority are free and although they are not 100% effective, they serve to have a second opinion of the apps that are installed.