DrainerBot, the malware that consumes your phone’s data traffic

A group of cybersecurity researchers has discovered several counterfeit apps on the Play Store that consume data traffic by playing ads

The imagination of hackers, by now, has accustomed us to just about everything. Over time, we've seen malware designed to steal data; those that turn PCs and smartphones into "zombies" and control them remotely; not to mention those that exploit the resources of the infected device to create cryptocurrencies of all kinds, from Monero to Bitcoin.

Viruses created to consume data traffic of the affected users' phone plan, however, have never been heard of before. And, most likely, no one missed them. The fact is that security researchers at Oracle have uncovered malicious code hidden in Android apps whose main purpose seems to be exactly to consume gigabytes of data traffic from our phone plan by running videos in the background, without the user noticing. Behind this anomalous behavior, however, lies a scam perpetrated by a group of hackers against advertising networks.

How DrainerBot works

The malware, as mentioned, spreads thanks to seemingly legitimate Android apps with fancy names. At the moment, DrainerBot has been detected in apps such as "Perfect365", "VertexClub", "Draw Clash of Clans", "Touch 'n' Beat - Cinema" and "Solitaire: 4 Seasons (Full)". As soon as the infected applications were downloaded and installed, DrainerBot would start working, starting to play videos in the background and quickly consuming all the data traffic of your data plan.

But what is the real purpose of DrainerBot? As mentioned initially, in fact, data consumption is only the most "obvious" behavior of the malware. In reality, the compromised apps play video ads, which allow hackers to make money by cheating ad networks. In fact, the ads were not really viewed by users, but played without anyone noticing. According to Oracle analysts, the infected apps can consume up to 10 gigabytes of data every month and therefore represent a risk for affected users as well. If you have a lower credit limit on your phone plan, you run the risk of seeing your credit balance dwindle quickly or, even worse, receiving a hefty bill.