More than a dozen Android apps have been detected on Google Play Store that have tricked users installing malware on their phone.
Lukas Stefanko, a senior security researcher at ESET, has listed 13 apps, mostly motor simulation games on Play store and all those created by the same cybercriminal Luiz Pinto. They have been reportedly downloaded by users close to 560,000 times and a couple of them are top trending apps.
It has come to light that once installed in the device, they never functioned properly and tend to crash whenever the user tried to open the app. And over time, they hide their icon from the view of the user on the mobile screen and at random, asks the user to install in-app application Game Center, which again has no functional purpose. Then unsuspecting users install it and over time, without the consent of the user, it used to install malware in the background to steal sensitive information.
Stefanko notified Google and the company has taken swift action by removing all the malicious apps from the Play Store.
Search engine giant Google, despite taking stringent measure to detect malware-riddle apps on Play store, continues to fail in its efforts. One of the main reasons for these things to happen is Google's open source code policy, as there are different types of mobile having their own set of hardware leading fragmentation. This apparently allows app developers have little more leeway compared to Apple, which controls almost everything of the iOS app development and allows developers to work within that ambit only.
Google will hopefully learn a lesson from this episode and pull up its socks to improve security measures to screen apps coming into the Play Store.