Google Play Store has removed 13 games for containing malware. A malware is a software that can harm your device.
This malware can access sensitive information and even show advertisements (ads) continuously while you’re using your device.
All the 13 games were all from the same app developer named Luiz O Pinto.
A security researcher named Lucas Stefanko from digital security company ESET discovered that these mobile gaming apps contained malware.
Stefanko then posted the game titles on Twitter when he found it out.
All of the removed games are driving simulator with different themes (car, SUV, motor, truck driving apps).
According to Lucas Stefanko, none of the games would work. After installing the mobile app, the game supposedly asked the user to download an extra item called “Game Center.”
The game would close itself immediately when the user would try to open the gaming app, and then the mobile games’ app icon would become hidden.
According to Lucas Stefanko, the other extra item called — “Game Center” — would gain full network access to the user’s device.
It could also display advertisements when the device was unlocked and it could also potentially record network traffic going in and out of devices.
Two of the apps were trending on Google’s Play Store and according to Stefanko’s estimates, the games were downloaded and installed over 560,000 times.
Things to do if you have downloaded on the apps
If you’re one of the people who had downloaded one of the apps, you have two appropriate options to do.
A. You could try uninstalling the app and downloading an anti-malware app, like Malwarebytes, to get rid of the malware.
B. The second option you can do is to back up your photos, musics, videos, apps, text messages and other content on your mobile phone that you want to keep.
After backing up, factory reset your device. Learn here how to do a factory-reset here — a guide by LifeWire.
13 Games with malware that is removed on Google’s Play Store
Just remember that there are some legitimate games that have similar titles and images so you have to check the publisher of the gaming app.
The infected games are published by “Luiz O Pinto.”
1. Truck Cargo Simulator
2. Firefighter – Fire Truck Simulator
3. Hyper Car Driving Simulator
4. Car Driving Simulator
5. SUV 4×4 Driving Simulator
6. Moto Cross Extreme Racing
7. Extreme Car Driving Racing
8. City Traffic Moto Racing
9. SUV City Climb Parking
10. Luxury Car Parking
11. Luxury Cars SUV Traffic
12. Extreme Sport Car Driving
13. Extreme Car Driving City