Despite Google’s best efforts, there are a number of infected Android apps on the Play Store. In fact, there’s a list of around 28 that have over 10 million downloads between them.
If you’re using any of them, you should delete them right away and find an uninfected alternative.
According to Hacker News, there are 28+ apps infected with adware. Each variant of adware hides itself from the app screen to make it harder to detect. It will then serve ads when using apps and generally annoy you while trying to use your phone.
Apparently, there are three types of malware/adware installed.
One is pure adware that shows ads when you use the phone. The second offers a couple of paid services while adding more adware behind the scenes. The third, injects the joker malware that subscribe you to paid services using your Facebook logon without telling you.
There are others too, but you get the idea.
The list of infected apps includes:
(List courtesy of Hacker News)
If you have any of these apps installed on your phone, remove them now and perform a malware and antivirus scan.
If you have seen any suspicious behavior around your Facebook account or notice unknown debits from Google Pay or other online account, secure your device and your accounts right away.
The Google Play Store, like most app stores work hard to avoid as much malware as possible. But bad actors work equally hard to circumvent protections and to get their nefarious code onto our devices.
Be aware what you install and keep an eye on phone and bank activity. Vigilance is key in minimizing the effectiveness of malware!