Warning: Fake Biophilla app on Android is malware

Summary:Cyber criminals have created a fake Biophilla app for Android that is really just malware in disguise. Your first red flag should be that Biophilla is officially available on iOS, but not on Android.

During April alone, we've already seen malicious versions of Angry Birds Space and Instagram in the wild. Both are Android apps that are really just malware designed to generate money from unsuspecting users by sending expensive international text messages. Now the same is happening with the popular Biophilla app.

Here's the official description of the app:

Biophilia is an extraordinary and innovative multimedia exploration of music, nature and technology by the musician Björk. Comprising a suite of original music and interactive, educational artworks and musical artifacts, Biophilia is released as ten in-app experiences that are accessed as you fly through a three-dimensional galaxy that accompanies the album’s theme song Cosmogony. All of the album’s songs are available inside Biophilia as interactive experiences: Crystalline, Virus, Moon, Thunderbolt, Sacrifice, Mutual Core, Hollow, Solstice, and Dark Matter.

Björk recently invited hackers and pirates to port her app from iOS to other platforms, but somehow I don't think Android malware is what she had in mind. Symantec identified the social engineering scam on third-party Android app download sites and described the malware as follows:

The app itself comes in two parts: the front-end, which has the ability to stream songs, and a background service with the name ‘Market’. Upon examination of the background service (designed to activate every time the phone starts) it appears to belong to the Android.Golddream family of threats. The authors of this family of threats are known to target third-party apps with malicious versions of popular apps, drawing revenue from premium SMS scams.

To reiterate, Biophilia is not available for Android. Some may have managed to port it illegally, but please beware that they may have included malware inside. If you want to get the official iOS version, get it from the official Apple App store. Here is the direct link: itunes.apple.com/app/bjork-biophilia/id434122935.

See also:

Topics: Apps, Android, Google, Hardware, Malware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security, Smartphones

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.