Google Brush 17 Dangerous Pinjols, Some Are Operating at RI Tech – 4 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Google decided to remove 17 dangerous online loan applications (pinjol) from the Google Play Store platform. All of these applications are known to offer high loan interest and the risk of personal data theft.

Quoting Detikinet, cyber security researchers from ESET Research said there were 18 dangerous pinjol applications circulating on the Google Play Store. These dozens of applications have been downloaded more than 12 million times since 2020.

ESET does not name each loan application, but they classify this rogue application as ‘SpyLoan’ because it uses spyware techniques. These applications are usually promoted via SMS and social media such as Twitter/X, Facebook and YouTube.

According to ESET data, detection of the SpyLoan application will begin to increase throughout 2023. Victims of this malicious application are spread across many countries, such as Mexico, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, Singapore, Colombia and Peru.

Some of these malicious loan applications also imitate the names and branding of official loan service providers and financial institutions. There is even a loan service provider in Colombia who warns users not to be fooled by fake applications that imitate their name.

Once installed, the SpyLoan application immediately asks users to provide personal information such as address, contact information, proof of income, bank account information, and photos of the front and back of their identity card.

Next, the application sucks up sensitive data on the victim’s device, such as call logs, calendar events, device information, list of installed applications, local Wi-Fi network information, and photo metadata. Apart from that, they also target contact lists, user location data and SMS.

“After that, the operator of the dangerous loan application will blackmail and threaten the user to immediately pay the loan, even when the user does not borrow the money or the loan is rejected. There are even attackers who threaten to kill the user’s family,” as quoted by Gizmodo, Saturday (9/12/ 2023).

ESET immediately reported its findings to Google. Currently, 17 dangerous online loan applications have been removed from the Play Store. Another one was able to escape because it had changed its access permissions and functions so that it was not detected as a SpyLoan application.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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