Google made a worrisome discovery recently. Thirteen apps available on Google Play Store were, in fact, malicious applications. These applications appeared to be regular games, but they actually contain malware. It appears that these harmful apps showed users ads when they unlocked their smartphones.
Lukas Stefanko from ESET exposed the malicious apps on his Twitter account back on November 19. It appears that more than 560,000 persons have already downloaded these applications. The games are mostly driving simulations, for cars and trucks. You can identify them quickly, as they have the same developer, Luiz O. Pinto. Whenever users tried to open the games, the apps would crash, and they installed malware instead. The apps have been removed from the Play Store.
“Providing a safe and secure experience for our users is our top priority. We appreciate the researcher’s report and their efforts to help make Google Play more secure. The apps violated our policies and have been removed from the Play Store,” a Google spokesperson explained.
Deleting the apps
Here is the complete list of malicious games:
- Truck Cargo Simulator
- Extreme Car Driving
- City Traffic Moto Rally
- Moto Cross Extreme
- Hyper Car Driving Simulator
- Extreme Car Driving Simulator
- Firefighter – Fire Truck Simulator
- Car Driving Simulator
- Extreme Sports Car Driving
- SUV 4×4 Driving Simulator
- Luxury Car Parking
- Luxury Cars SUV Traffic
- SUV City Climb Parking
If you have any of those games installed on your device, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. Reboot your phone in airplane or safe mode and then go to the app settings menu and uninstall the application. Make sure that you also install malware protections so you can’t make sure that you haven’t installed any other applications that contain malware.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.