Barcode scanner in Google Play Store became malware after years of quiet popularity, researchers say

An app with more than 10 million downloads from the Google Play Store recently took a hard turn to the dark side, according to antivirus company Malwarebytes. The Barcode Scanner app had appeared in the store for years, but in December it became clear that it “had gone from an innocent scanner to full on malware,” writes Nathan Collier, a researcher for the Silicon Valley company. Malwarebytes said Google Play removed the app in early December after users reported that it was opening the default web browsers on phones to serve up ad pages — without any direct action by the device owners themselves. The company is labeling the malicious code as a trojan. “It is frightening that with one update an app can turn malicious while going under the radar of Google Play Protect,” Collier writes. The researcher makes a clear distinction: There are many ways apps can go
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