Google Play Store malware apps were apparently hiding in plain sight, being downloaded more than 500,000 times by unsuspecting individuals…
No matter the level of scrutiny and strict guidelines, there’s always the possibility bad actors will infiltrate digital spaces. Once again, reality intrudes as Google has found thirteen apps containing malware which were downloaded over 500,000 times.
Google Play Store Malware Apps Removed
What’s most interesting is the apps didn’t work at all. In fact, when opened, crashed every time launched. Most of the apps were disguised as games but contained no functionality.
NDTV Gadgets reports the following:
“The apps not only showed no legitimate functionality but also hid in the handsets to make it easier to install malware … In a tweet ESET security researcher Lukas Stefanko revealed details about the 13 malicious apps discovered in the Google Play Store. He claimed that these apps containing Android malware were downloaded over 560,000 times. Interestingly, all the apps listed a single developer named Luiz Pinto.”
This isn’t the first time Google has found malware in its app store. Back in January, the company disclosed it identified and removed over 700,000 malicious programs from its Play Store last year.
Here’s ESET security researcher Lukas Stefanko tweet warning about the bad apps:
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