Google has removed 13 apps from its Android app store. These contained malware, which is not a first on the Google Play Store. An incident that will not reassure users about the reliability of the platform.
The applications concerned by this deletion are all games – for precision, driving simulations. Some were racing games with luxury cars. Others proposed driving different fire trucks. However, it was not so. When launching the games after installation, they proposed to download an optional package, called “Game Center”. This optional item then made the game icons disappear after launching. “Game Center” actually hid a malware that could access network information and display advertisements.
These 13 dangerous applications are due to Lukas Stefanko, a security analyst for ESET. Among the 13, two apps were part of the trends on Google Play Store, which allowed to quickly identify these threats. According to Stefanko’s estimates, about 560,000 users downloaded these dummy racing games.
On the other hand, the 13 applications were published by one person, namely Luiz O Pinto who quickly became persona non grata on the Play Store. If you downloaded one of the following applications, you have been a victim of these malware. As a first step, you make a backup of your sensitive data – including photos or messages. Once done, you will reset your device. A solution that seems undoubtedly radical, but it remains the safest. To another extent, you can also uninstall the offending games and then download an application – like Malwarebytes – to permanently remove the malware from your device.