Google is continuously working to enhance the security of its system, protecting users from Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs). In order to move one step closer towards its goal, Google has removed Tizi app from Play Store for stealing user information. According to the experts, Tizi spyware has mainly targeted African countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya.
The search engine has detected that the app steals user data from call records and also from social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, and lots more. Also, the Tizi app takes away photos, screenshots, and videos without users’ consent.
The tech major took prompt action by removing the Tizi app from Google Play Store and notifying the affected devices. Also, the account of the developer has been suspended by Google.
The security blog post discloses that the earlier version of the Tizi app didn’t boast ‘rooting’ capabilities. However, the app expanded with the rooting abilities with a software update. After the update, it started to steal confidential data of users from their devices.
The Google Play Protect team has used the information as well as signals from the Tizi apps to upgrade Google’s on-device security services and the systems that search for PHAs. All these improvements have been enabled for all users.
- Check Permissions: Be careful with apps that ask for irrational permissions. For instance, a flashlight app will not need any access to send SMS messages
- Enable a Secure Lock Screen: It’s recommended to choose an easy-to-remember PIN, pattern or password for you device
- Update Your Device: Keeping your Android device up-to-date with the latest security patches is a great idea. The Tizi app has used older and publicly known security vulnerabilities, so devices that have the latest security patches are less prone to such kind of attacks
- Google Play Protect: Make sure that you’ve Google Play Protect enabled on your device
- Locate Your Device: Google recommends you to practice finding your device. Doing so will keep you away from losing your device
Reports suggest that the contriver of the Tizi app has promoted it via various social media posts and third-party websites. Presently, the developer’s account is suspended from the Play Store and over 1,300 infected Android devices has notified about the spyware.
Researchers said that hijackers mostly targeted users with older Android phones running grown-up chipsets and past versions of Android OS. It has been said that the targeted handsets didn’t have the latest security patches from Google and were vulnerable to this kind of attack.
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