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It came out this past Thanksgiving weekend that Google Play has been featuring several fun-filled apps that happen to also be filled with malware. Here is the list of known apps that infect the malware.

Google Play store discovered 13 Malware Apps

During Thanksgiving weekend these 13 apps, all authored by a developer going under the name Luiz O Pinto, were found and taken down… but not until they had been downloaded over 500,000 times.

Malware-infected app names include:

Truck Cargo Simulator
Extreme Car Driving
City Traffic Moto Race
Moto Cross Extreme
Hyper Car Driving
Extreme Car Driving
Firefighter – Fire Truck
Car Driving Simulator
Extreme Sport Car Driving
SUV 4×4 Driving Simulator
Luxury Car Parking
Luxury Car SUV Training
SUV City Climb Parking

  • If you downloaded any of these apps, do not install.
  • If you have installed any of these apps, chances are good that you are not using the device right now.
  • Once launched, the app turns your device into a zombie that showcases a bunch of ads.

How to prevent and resolve malware on your Android Device

  • For starters, if you are an app addict please do not download an app from an unverified developer.
    Related idiom: If you don’t start trouble there won’t be trouble.
  • If you like living on the edge, and you might still take a chance installing an app from an unverified developer, it is a good idea to have previously installed Android Antivirus, or similar, on your phone.
    Related idiom: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • If it’s too late and the malware has taken its spot on your phone, then we are not here to judge. But steps must be taken to get control of your phone back from the malware, and we are here to help. Prying the infected app out of your phone or tablet, and ensuring that it is completely eradicated, will require these actions to remove it. (Full explanation of instructions are found HERE):

1. Shut Down. Hold the power button until the Droid turns itself off.
2. Safe Mode. Reboot to safe mode. Airplane Mode is a second option.
3. Go to Settings.
4. Find the app.
5. Uninstall the sucker.
6. IMMEDIATELY download malware protection. AVG is a trusted name. So is Norton Security. As is Android Antivirus.

Good luck, and hope this helps. If you and your phone or tablet survive the malware attack, then the final applicable idiom might be “Once bitten, twice shy.” Stay away from unverified developers.

Call Secure Networkers at (281) 651.2254 with your questions regarding business network security, defense and automation. Our job is to help you select a network security configuration that will keep your business healthy and at the peak of performance, and free of all kinds of malware (even “Extreme Sport Car Driving” apps!). In the IoT universe we live in, your infected phone can infect a whole corporation, so this Google Play incident is not just about silly race games, it bodes to the larger threat window that it could be. Protect your devices.