Those who downloaded these apps expected a truck or auto driving game and instead got a buggy app that crashed every time it was opened. Apple had previously removed Telegram from the App Store since it was being used to share child pornography. Secondly, in order to download these apps, having WhatsApp is a pre-requisite, which is against their policy as apps should not require another apps in order to use them.
Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher, has posted a message on Twitter alerting Google Play users about a number of driving game apps that are actually malware disguised as simulators. In January, the company published a report claiming that it removed more than 700,000 malicious apps from the Play Store in 2017.
The total amount of installations tops 560,000, which means there are a lot of Google Play users out there with infected devices.
So, what exactly did these apps do?
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As a workaround for anyone who might have deleted it, Digital Trends suggested navigating to the Purchased section in the App Store and reinstalling the app from there, which it said has had mixed results.
The app seemed to have gone missing from the App Store earlier this week.
Stefanko's tweets provided screenshots of the affected games, which were all made by the developer named Luiz Pinto. The malware has "full access" to a phone or tablet's network traffic, allowing it to steal personal secrets from an Android device. Furthermore, numerous apps had reviews that averaged out to three or more stars.
"We immediately removed this content", it said, and added: "Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms". Whether or not he (or she) will return in the future under a different alias remains to be seen, though.