Android malware campaign 'targets 1 million Google accounts'

More than one million Google accounts have been compromised by a new authentication-theiving malware campaign called Gooligan, according to security company Check Point.

In a blog post, Check Point said the malware steals authentication tokens from infected Android devices, which can later be used to access Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, Google Drive and other data stored with Google.

The Gooligan malware campaign appears to affect 74% of in-market devices, particularly those running on Android 4 (JellyBean, KitKat) and 5 (Lollipop).

Around 57% of these devices are in Asia and 9% are in Europe. Android users can check whether their account is compromised here.

Check Point suggested that, if an account has been breached, users should carry out a clean installation ("flashing") of the operating system on the affected mobile device. As this is a complicated process, however, the company said users may want to power off the device and ask their mobile service provider or a certified technician to 're-flash' the device.

Check Point also recommended changing all Google account passwords once the "flashing" process is complete.

The security company is working closely with Google to investigate the source of this campaign.

Adrian Ludwig, Google's director of Android security, said: "We're appreciative of both Check Point's research and their partnership as we've worked together to understand these issues. As part of our ongoing efforts to protect users from the Ghost Push family of malware, we've taken numerous steps to protect our users and improve the security of the Android ecosystem overall."

To counteract the malware campaign, Google is reportedly notifying affected accounts, revoking affected tokens and deploying SafetyNet improvements.