The McAfee Mobile Research Team has discovered new Android malware that has made its way onto the Google Play Store. The malware is being disguised as various mobile cleaning apps, but when downloaded onto the victim device, the apps will display malicious ads to the user. What makes these apps even more dangerous is their function that allows them to run the malware without even being opened. They also can evade deletion by changing their icon to a Google Play icon and their name to either “Google Play” or “Setting.
Over 1 million users have already downloaded the apps and users all over the world have been affected by them, with the top countries being South Korea, Japan, and Brazil. Different variants of the malware have been seen and it’s likely that developers will continue updating them to help avoid detection.
McAfee has already reported the malicious apps to Google, but as previously mentioned, they will likely continue to show up in the store. To stay safe, users should research apps prior to downloading them to their device. Running trusted applications, such as the one provided by the McAfee Mobile Security Team, will help detect these types of malware and keep users from being infected.