Google Play Store, Once Again, Riddled With Malware

After two malicious apps made it to “trending” status, Google realized they had a major issue…

This week, Google removed 13 driving-themed games from their Play Store after determining they were riddled with malware.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t until after they had been downloaded over half a million times.

An initial warning was issued about the apps last week.  After a proper investigation, it was determined all of them were developed by the same person, named Luiz O Pinto. Upon installing the app, an additional download for “Game Center” was required.  Once both installations were complete, the user could launch the app.  However, it was essentially useless.  The only purpose was for the app to distribute malicious display ads when the user’s device is unlocked.

Want to know if you downloaded one of the 13 malicious apps?  Here’s a full list of bogus programs: 

Picture by Variety

  • Truck Cargo Simulator
  • Extreme Car Driving Racing
  • City Traffic Moto Racing
  • Moto Cross Extreme Racing
  • Hyper Car Driving Simulator
  • Extreme Car Driving City
  • Firefighter — Fire Truck Simulator
  • Car Driving Simulator
  • Extreme Sport Car Driving
  • SUV 4×4 Driving Simulator
  • Luxury Car Parking
  • Luxury Cars SUV Traffic
  • SUV City Climb Parking

A Google spokesperson stated,

“Providing a safe and secure experience for our users is our top priority.  We appreciate the researcher’s report and their efforts to help make Google Play more secure. The apps violated our policies and have been removed from the Play Store.”

Normally, one would take this as a positive sign.  Perhaps that Google won’t allow this mistake again moving forward.  But how realistic is that?  After all, this isn’t the first time malicious apps have found their way into Google’s Play Store.

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3 thoughts on “Google Play Store, Once Again, Riddled With Malware

  1. I believe if Google was serious, the least it could do was send a personal warning to each and every user that performed the download. After all, we do have to sign in to the Play store. We can not install an app “anonymously”.

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