As we always do here at The IT Company, we want you to be secure.  This means both providing you with specific actions you can take to secure your IT environment (at home and at work), and providing you with interesting information regarding security exposures and risks.

In order to stay up to date and constantly aware of what is going on around our cyber world, we follow  many different reliable sources. One of our more interesting sources of security information is Wired.  Wired often publishes short and timely articles related to security.  Today’s blog surrounds the pertinent information within one of Wired’s most recent articles.

In this recent article that they have shared, there are multiple cyber security highlights meant to inform the public and help keep them safe. Within the particular article, there is a release of detailed information regarding an exposure with Asus motherboards, apps disguised as spyware on the Google Play store, changes that VPNs are making to ban sites, and the shutdown of a dark web site. Each piece of information in this article is critical to your cyber safety both at home and in the office.

One piece of information talked about in the article that we would like to emphasize is the fact that malware is continually getting into the Google Play Store. If you are an android user, this is important for you to know! A recent motherboard investigation found evidence that more than 20 different Android Applications that can be purchased in the Google Play Store, are in fact spyware. Not only does this spyware install malicious malware allowing for information on the device to be stolen, but it also leaves the device vulnerable and more likely to be hacked by other methods. There were over 25 versions of the spyware found and it was dated back all the way to 2016.

Less than 1,000 Italians were victims of these infected applications. Which leads to the preconceptions that this spyware was created and developed for the Italian government. While there are Italian laws that strictly prohibit Spyware, the Italian government has seemingly ignored this in circumstances in the past.

As soon as Google was made aware of the infected applications, they were removed from the Google Play Store. While the removal of the dangerous applications is positive and reassuring, it leads to a bigger concern. Are Google’s filters doing their job? There are filters in place that are meant to stop malware from entering into the Google Play Store. With recent information of the 20 different infected applications, it becomes apparent that there filters are not fully blocking malicious applications.

With this information, The IT Company encourages people to be very aware of the applications that they are downloading. We continue to care for your security here at The IT Company.  We always encourage you to be informed – it’s always the first step.  We think that the information in this blog will do just that. For further information and news read Wired’s article.