More than half a million users have installed Android malware after downloading what they thought was a driving game from the Google Play store.
Lukas Stefanko, a security researcher at ESET, tweeted details of 13 gaming apps, all made by the same developer, and available to download on Google Play.
Two of the apps were even trending on the store. Combined, there were more than 560,000 installations before Google pulled the plug on them.
Once any of the apps were installed, opening them caused "the game" to crash, but actually it was downloading further malware onto the phone.
Once installed, the malware then displays ads to the user whenever the display is on. The malware is also hard to remove as the original game icon hides itself, and the malware launches in the background every time the Android phone or tablet is started up.
If you have downloaded any of these apps, you should immediately run an antivirus programme to try to remove it.
According to VirusTotal, currently, the following nine malware scanners are able to detect the malicious APK and should be able to quarantine or remove it entirely: AegisLab, Cyren, ESET-NOD32, Fortinet, Kaspersky, McAfee, McAfee-GW-Edition, Symantec Mobile Insight, and ZoneAlarm.
This article was first published on Hardware Zone