Potential Malware

I have received three text messages in two days purporting to be from Republic Wireless and directing me to install a Republic Wireless app. I already have the RW app installed so suspected these messages may be malware from a RW impersonator. Here’s a screenshot of the message:
image

Hi @donaldr.t7qtfr,
Welcome back to the Community :slight_smile:

I dug into Republics help articles and found this:

The resolution (per the above article), is:

How to Uninstall and Reinstall the Republic Wireless App – Republic Help

and

How to Uninstall and Reinstall Updates to the Messages by Google App – Republic Help

Please let the Community know if it helps you :slight_smile:

Hi @donaldr.t7qtfr!

This is not some kind of malware. This is a notification that you usually get when you don’t have the Republic app installed.

That being said, we are seeing a number of occurrences of this happening when you do have the Republic app installed. We have opened a bug ticket on this issue.

Do you currently have the Republic app installed? If so, do you remember doing anything with your phone immediately prior to receiving this message (e.g. update the Republic app, reboot your phone, etc.)?

As @SuperT mentioned, the resolution is to uninstall and reinstall the Republic app. Once you do that, your phone should return to normal.

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I’ve seen a lot of this lately as an Expert. I’d be willing to bet it is a Samsung phone. It appears that a recent Samsung update has made the Samsung power saving over aggressive and it is “turning off” the Republic App because it sees it as idle. Simply opening the app resolves the issue as it “unsleeps” it.

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Thanks for the helpful comments. Here’s some feedback that may be useful to others on Community:

I have two Samsung phones with RW service, a S9 and a S10+. This message I thought might be malware was received on the S10+. Yes, I do have the Republic Wireless app installed on both phones, ver 3.28.6.2, but in the list of apps on the S10+ it is labelled as “Auto disabled.”

This “Auto disabled” label was also applied to the RW app on the S9 phone two weeks ago at which time I contacted RW Help about a problem I was having on the S9 sending text messages with photos. I have no idea what caused the “Auto disabled” condition to happen on the S9 two weeks ago and on the S10+ today.

This problem on the S9 resulted in a help ticket 1993165 being opened. RW help suggested several things to fix the problem on the S9 which did not work, then they did a “refresh” remotely which fixed the problem. After this remote “refresh” the “Auto disabled” label was gone. One of the recommendations they made while troubleshooting was to install Messages by Google as the default text message app instead of Anywhere which I had been using on both phones until that point. I did make Messages by Google the default on both phones. Anywhere was removed from the S9. Anywhere is still installed on the S10+ but is not the default.

Back to Ambassador SuperT’s link for “How to Uninstall and Reinstall the Republic Wireless App,” it calls for finding the RW app on the Play Store list of installed apps. But it does not appear on that list on my S10+. So I instead started to navigate to Settings>>Apps where the RW app was previously listed with the “Auto disabled” label. But as I was doing this navigation, before I tapped any buttons to uninstall or anything else, two new text messages came though from short label 25374 which as noted in Ambassador jben’s comment is from Safeway. These were messages I expected to receive. Continuing to Settings>>Apps I see that the RW app no longer has the “Auto disabled” label, and going back to the Play Store Installed Apps list the RW app that was missing a few minutes ago is now there. So while doing nothing except inspecting these lists in Play Store and Settings the problem has somehow cured itself. Odd, but unless someone has further inputs I’ll treat this as one of those things that isn’t broken so doesn’t need further fixing.

See my response above. This is Samsung being over aggressive with apps it deems unused.

If this is due to Samsung’s power management as you indicate, a possible fix would be in Samsung’s Settings>>Device care>>Battery>>Apps power management>>Apps that won’t be put to sleep>>Add app. I don’t know how much adding the RW app to this list would impact battery life, but it might avoid the the “Auto disabled” problem if no more elegant solution comes to light.

Hi @donaldr.t7qtfr,

Please do disallow the Republic app from being put to sleep as you described, and let us know if you see a very negative impact on battery (I don’t think you will) and if that seems to prevent our server from thinking our app no longer exists on the phone.

On the Samsung phone I’ve been using for a while, I keep “put unused apps to sleep” completely disabled because it is so important that our servers be able to reach the phone via the Republic app when a call or text comes in, and I’m satisfied with the battery performance.

OK, I have added the RW app to the list of apps not subject to being put to sleep on both my phones. I don’t have quantitative data on my past battery life (which is generally good) so it would take a fairly large impact for it to be noticeable. But if I do see adverse effects on battery, or if I have any more cases where the RW app is “Auto disabled,” I’ll post an update.

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Hi @louisdi!

Thanks for that! That is some great information. I think that may be exactly what’s going on here.

I’m going to see if we can reproduce this.

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