Judy , in spite of its name, is nothing polite: on the contrary, it is considered the worst malware ever for Android users – enough to have caused problems on as many as 30 million devices .

Specifically, the Judy malware could have generated some 36.5 million infections on smartphones , according to a report from the web security company Check Point . The peculiarity of Judy, which is what made him so deadly, is the fact that it automatically generates false advertising clicks – in fact, going to touch an enormously expanding “gray” market, that of false “impressions” for online campaigns. .

Check Point would have identified the Judy malware within 41 Android apps signed by the Korean brand Kiniwini and published under the Enistudio Corp label . These are basically apps aimed at a very young audience , and highly appreciated: in this sense, the positive reviews of users on Google Play have only increased the downloads of infected apps and, consequently, the spread of malware.

But what does Judy actually do? Once installed on an Android device, this malware generates, through the small group of applications in which it is present, a large number of infections aimed at producing “a large amount of fraudulent clicks on advertising banners , and generating revenue for those who placed them to point “.

Check Point explains: “Once the user has downloaded the application, it silently registers connections with the control server”, then initiating links with a series of “hidden” web addresses, disguising itself as a PC and bouncing off the site on site : this is how the JavaScript code identifies the Google Ads banners and clicks on them, imitating a human action . In fact, Judy can be described as a sizeable , remotely controlled botnet that simulates advertising traffic – while carrying real money in someone’s pocket.

To see it this way, the situation doesn’t seem all that dangerous for users. However, Judy has already achieved the record for ” largest malware campaign ever found on Google Play “.

Currently, Google has removed infected apps from its Store and it is no longer possible to download them. Too bad that, at the time of deletion, the applications had already been downloaded between 4.5 and 18.5 million times .

Even Check Point, who has investigated Judy’s malicious potential, is uncertain about the real consequences of the downloads: “It’s unclear how long the malicious code was hidden in those applications, and how quickly it spread remains unknown . For this reason, the actual propagation of advertising malware could be between 8.5 and 36.5 million users despite a lower number of downloads. ”

Ultimately, although Judy is not a malware that directly harms those who have installed it on their smartphone, one consideration is a must : it is not said that a popular Android application is necessarily safe. Always pay attention to what you download !

A final note deserves a general reflection in terms of digital marketing : it is very likely that the detection of malware can affect the SERP. Google has in fact the ability to identify many of the malware that it detects on websites during its googlebot crawl , and to classify them within its personal list that goes from “largely benign” (like adware) to “highly dangerous for data integrity “or” highly infectious to the system “. In the latter cases, these are very dangerous threats that lead to precise reports in the SERP :

  • “This site could be compromised”
  • “This site could damage your computer”

And if the “benign” threats could be ignored at the SERP level, a compromised or hacked web page that includes modified content, ambiguous links, or an infinity of pages suddenly added in an attempt to trick visitors into specific calls to action , can result in a compromise of the entire website in the eyes of Google .

In the worst cases, these sites can literally disappear from the SERP, in the less ugly but equally tragic ones they may be anticipated by the messages above .

Therefore, beware of website-level malware infections that could jeopardize, in the worst cases, an accurate SEO and prospect generation work .



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