Google pulls 300 Android apps used for Wirex DDoS attacks

Mariella Moon, writing for Engadget:

If a random storage manager or video player you downloaded recently has disappeared from your Android device, don’t worry: it might have been for your own good. Google has removed 300 apps from the Play store, which were apparently merely masquerading as legitimate applications.

In truth, they were made to hi-jack your phone so it can be used as part of a botnet’s distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. WireX, as the botnet is called, pummeled several content providers and delivery networks with traffic from the devices it hi-jacked on August 17th, though it’s been active since around August 2nd. In some cases, it also acted as a ransomware, demanding money from its victim.

People always praise how you can put an app into the Play Store so much faster than on iOS, but they ignore that the lack of proper app testing on Google’s part means it’s easy for people to sneak these apps into the Play Store and put their devices in danger.