Don’t download the fake Android apps which promise protection from WannaCry ransomware

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Android users are being warned about scores of malicious apps that are flooding the Google Play Store.

The apps claim to protect Android devices from the WannaCry ransomware attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries earlier this month.

Security firm McAfee discovered that some apps which appeared in the Google Play Store under a search for “WannaCry” were malicious.

One app in particular WannaCry Ransomware Protection was found to offer absolutely no protection and instead did nothing more than display ads in a bid to get users to download other apps.

Another app called Anti WannaCry Virus was also found to not offer any kind of virus protection.

Android WannaCry

Both of the apps mentioned even had reviews posted which claimed they were legitimate, which could have been left by the developers themselves as a way to try and convinces users the apps were legit.

McAfee said it has contacted Google advising them to remove the apps from the Play Store.

However, The Times reports that Google has so far refused to the remove the rogue apps.

A screenshot of a search for 'WannaCry' in the Google Play Store - 26 May 2017

A screenshot of a search for ‘WannaCry’ in the Google Play Store – 26 May 2017

The apps claiming to offering protection from WannaCry are the latest apps used by cyber criminals who design them specifically around a trending or popular subject so people are fooled into downloading them.

Writing on McAfee’s blog, security researcher Fernando Ruiz said: “We did not find any malware in these apps offering fake protection against WannaCry, but cybercriminals often seize the opportunity of trending topics like this — as we have seen with Flash Player for Android, Pokémon Go, Mario Run, Minecraft, etc. — to distribute malicious payloads even on official apps markets.”

Users should be aware that so far, WannaCry has only infected computers running Microsoft Windows.

There is no evidence that WannaCry has or could infect Android devices.

The news comes after cyber security experts warned of the discovery of another major security vulnerability that could lead to a global attack similar to WannaCry.

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