Sep 23, 2019 | Updated: 11:17 AM EDT

South Korean Apps ‘Judy’ Place 36.5 Million Android Smartphones At Risk Of Malware

May 29, 2017 05:12 AM EDT

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Two weeks after the WannaCry Ransomware affected 200,000 computers in 150 countries, another malware is spreading havoc, this time on Android smartphones. Check Point, a cyber security company based in Tel Aviv, discovered the “Judy” malware. It was published by Kiniwini, a gaming studio in South Korea under the name ENSTUDIO Corp.

Although Check Pint experts discovered on Thursday only 41 Android apps on the Google Play Store infected by “Judy,” it could be just the tip of an iceberg. The experts say up to 36.5 million people could have downloaded the auto-clicking malware which has been in Goggle Play Store for years. They estimated downloads between 4 million and 18 million, but the total spread of the malware could have reached between 8.5 million and 36.5 million Android smartphone users, WCVB reports.

Check Point explains that the “Judy” malware uses infected gadgets to generate big amounts of fraudulent clicks on advertisements that generate revenues for those behind the malware. The number of potential victims is large because there are between 1.3 billion and 1.4 billion people who own Android phones that are easier to hack compared to Apple smartphones running on iOS.

Because of the “Judy” malware, there is the chance that hackers will gain access to the source code and infect the Android smartphones with malware Tech Digg reports. The 41 infected apps removed by Check Point were Animal Judy, Fashion Judy, Chef Judy, or Judy’s Spa Salon.

The “Judy” malware was spread using several lines of “Judy” apps such as Persian Cat Care, Teacher Style, Wedding Party, Bunny Girl Style, Triangular Kimbap, Nine-Tailed Fox, Sea Otter Care, Birthday Food Maker, Vampire Style, Chicken Maker, Dragon Care, and Elephant Care. However, the News Guru points out, missing from the list are Magic Girl Style and Masquerade Girl Style both from Fashion Judy.

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