Google has reportedly removed 13 Malware apps from its Play Store. These 13 apps were installed more than half-million times. This news comes from ESET malware researcher Lukhas Stefanko. He pointed out this serious issue through a serious of tweets.
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) November 19, 2018
According to a tweet of Lukhas Stefanko, these 13 malware android apps have been installed more than 5,60,000 times from the play store and all the apps come from the same developer Luiz O Pinto. He also added that two apps from the 13 were also listed in the trending section of Play Store.
Stefanko revealed that these 13 malware apps do not have any legitimate function of their own. They ask the users to download and install an additional APK file called Game Center. When the APK file is downloaded, the icon hides itself. Then it shows ads to the affected users when their Android phones are unlocked.
Stefanko also pointed out that the additional APK file, Game Center requests users to give them permission for viewing network and the Wi-Fi connection and to run a startup. He also shared videos on the micro-blogging platform displaying how these malware apps work.
However, he also confirmed that the APK file is not available with the apps. The list of malicious apps includes games like Car Driving Simulator, Truck Cargo Simulator, Moto Cross Extream and Extream Car Driving among other. Most of these apps are got at least a 3star rating in the play store.
Obviously, this is not the first time that Google has removed dangerous malware apps from the play store. In 2017, the tech giant revealed that they removed almost 7,00,000 malicious apps from the Play Store.
In the same blog, the company said that it was banned more than 1,00,000 developers from the platform. The company also said that the figures for 2017 were 70% more than compared to 2016.
Google removed these dangerous malware apps after the alert of the security researcher, Lukhas Stefanko. Last year the com[any also banned 41 apps by a Korean company that also have malware. They wanted to earn money for its developers creating false ads clicks on the infected smartphones.
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