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Be on the lookout for malware in app stores called ‘DressCode’

Priority Level: 
Moderate
6 October 2016

You are reminded to be wary when installing apps from application stores, following reports hundreds of apps available on Google Play include malicious code that enables attackers to control your Android device.

The apps are reportedly infected with DressCode, which enables attackers to use your Android device to launch attacks against another person or organisation's online services, or gain access to corporate servers and information.

According to the reports, DressCode is installed on Android devices through infected apps including games and ‘skins' (files that change the look and feel of the user interface on your device).

Security researchers claim that more than 400 compromised apps have been detected on Google Play and more than 3,000 have been detected overall. These apps have reportedly in total been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of users.

Staying safe

As your smartphone is essentially a portable computer, you should be careful when installing applications. Google Play includes tips to help people running version 6.0 of Android and up avoid harmful apps.

Google Play recommends you check the star ratings and reviews of an app and the number of times the app has been downloaded before deciding whether or not to proceed.

Google Play also points out that Android device users can turn on the app verification function which then regularly checks activity on the device and warns of potential problems. Finally, Google Play advises users to report harmful apps to it.

You should also use security software on your mobile device, and seek technical assistance if you notice something strange.

You are advised to ensure that your Android device is set to automatically receive security updates, and to ensure the latest updates have been applied.

More information

Stay Smart Online has more information on securing your mobile phone.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.