Although not as strict as iOS App Store, Play Store has a strict policy when it comes to preventing malware-based apps from entering the platform. Now, in a recent update, Google has found another bunch of Android apps that contain serious malware inside them. These apps were reported by a developer and the same had been checked by Google team after the tweet became viral. Thereafter, the apps were removed from Play Store so that users won’t be affected by the malware in the future. Making things worse, it should be noted that some of the apps have been downloaded over 50,000 times.
It does not come as a surprise that Play Store hosts apps that have malicious content inside. It has been well proved in the past that apps have sneaked into the platform, hiding the malicious intent. In this case, the 13 apps have been published under various categories such as Racing and Simulation. Once installed, icons of these apps would be hidden, making the user confused. It should also be noted that the apps seek a lot of permissions from the device, allowing it to perform sensitive tasks.
According to the researcher who reported the issue, none of these apps has a particular functionality. All of them are hidden right after installation and not many people take an effort to remove them instantly. It puts these apps in a position to make changes to the system and do the malware activities. The researcher also found that the app would download third-party APKs from other sources and forces the installation of the same APKs. Despite the set of legitimate screenshots that are published, these apps are not at all legit and all the taken-down apps are published under the same developer, named Luiz Pinto.