In total, 13 games were completely removed from Google Play after being detected that they infected with malware ( malicious programs) the Android mobiles in which they were installed.
This type of programs are those used by hackers to install surreptitiously on computers in order to obtain private information and even govern the device without the knowledge of its owner.
The aforementioned games seemed harmless (mostly, they were driving simulators) and some of them reaped a great success of downloads arriving to be in the trends section of the Android application store.
Don’t install these apps from Google Play – it’s malware.
-all together 560,000+ installs
-after launch, hide itself icon
-downloads additional APK and makes user install it (unavailable now)
-2 apps are #Trending
-no legitimate functionality
— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) 19 November 2018
This serious security problem was not detected by Google’s own protocols that filter content on Google Play but was unveiled by ESET analyst Lukas Stefanko who, through a message on his Twitter profile, revealed that 13 applications accumulated More than 560,000 downloads were infected with malware.
The cryptic message from this analyst explains that the aforementioned applications, which have already been removed by Google from the store, installed an additional APK file unrelated to the purpose of the game and without a “legitimate function”.
Apparently, the first signs of alarm have come from the users who have installed these applications and have left patents in the comments of Google Play, reporting that the game itself does nothing, but have detected a slowdown in the mobile.
All these applications had the authorship of the developer Luiz Pinto, and in some of them, users complained that they were unable to find the icon of the app once installed, perhaps because it has been hidden by the developer.
Everything indicates that it is adware, This programs to display ads on the device without authorization from the owner and from which the developer profits. Google has not issued any type of communication beyond withdrawing the aforementioned applications.
What can be done if one of the mentioned applications has already been installed? “I recommend to users who have already installed the apps that try to uninstall them by hand,” Stefanko explains, “however, there is a possibility that there may be downloaded assets that can not be deleted by the user, so the most convenient to use an updated antivirus application, “he concludes. This expert did not want to speculate on the reasons why Google filters have not detected the entry of this type of applications.
And it seems that the platform has little work with this issue: last year a whopping 700,000 applications of these features of Google Play, a figure that represents an increase of 70% over the previous year. Google highlights that these applications were eliminated in the approval process, or what is the same, before being published in the platform’s online store.