A total of 13 games have been withdrawn from Google Play Store after Google detected that they are infecting the Android devices on which they were installed with malware. Hackers were using malicious programs within these mobile games to access Android-powered smartphones to obtain private information.
These games seemed harmless, and most of them were driving simulators, while some of them even had a great success regarding the number of downloads and were also placed in the trend section of the Android app store, Google Play Store.
This severe security problem was not detected by Google’s own protocols that filter content on Google Play but was revealed by ESET analyst Lukas Stefanko who, through a message on his Twitter profile, showed that 13 applications accumulating more than 560,000 downloads were infected with malware. The analyst’s cryptic message explains that these apps, which have already been removed by Google from the Play Store, installed an additional APK file unrelated to the purpose of the game and without a “legitimate function.”
Google Removed From Its Play Store 13 Games That Were Installing Malware On Android Devices
Apparently, the first alarm signals have come from the users themselves who have installed these applications and have made them clear in Google Play comments, reporting that the game itself does nothing, but they have detected a slowdown of the mobile.
All these applications had the authorship of the developer Luiz Pinto, and in some of the cases, users reported that they were unable to find the icon of the app once installed as, perhaps, the developer himself hid it.
Everything indicates that the malicious programs within these 13 games are adware, programs designed to display advertisements on the infected devices without the authorization of the owner and from which the developer makes money. Google has not made any further comments on this situation besides the announcement of the removal of those 13 infected apps.