If you are wondering what happened with the game you’ve just installed, the one that crashes every time you try to run it. Well, it appears that it is a malware not a real game.
500k Android users downloaded malware from Google’s Play store
According to malware researcher Lukas Stefanko at ESET, who tweeted the following on his Twitter account earlier this week, at least 13 gaming apps created and uploaded in the Google Play store by the same developer: Luiz O Pinto, are nothing else but malware. These 13 malware apps disguised as Car games (two of which were trending at the time of his tweet) surpassed 560,000 installs before Google removed them from its Play 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) November 19, 2018
Instead of getting a nice game all of the users who downloaded any of those thirteen apps got an app that was crushing down every time they were trying to open it. What’s worse, is that the app once installed and open, it was downloading malware in the background. Once the malware was installed the disguised-as-a-game’s icon has been removed from the users device. It appears that the malware run the moment the infected phone or tablet boots the system up, and it is ment to steal personal data.
Google is facing a lot of hurdles in its battle to keep such malicious apps from entering its Play store. Last year, Google removed over 700k such apps from the store and it is constantly looking for new ways to improve its security filters in order to avoid them being uploaded into the Play store.