Another day another security concern. Check Point, a security research firm found out that more than 200 apps available on Google Play Store have adware code hidden that could phishing attacks and more. The researchers also found out that these apps were downloaded a total of 150 million times on Google Play, however, need not worry as Google has already removed those apps.
According to TechCrunch, SimBad is a malicious program that acts as an ad-serving platform and since it was found to affect simulator games so far and thus, the name SimBad. Per the reports, the malicious program affected 206 apps on Google Play by tricking the app developers into injected the malicious code within their app without their knowledge of it’s after effects. Since this adware open backdoor for the malicious program to run post-download, it escaped the clutches of Google Play scanning but leaving the user’s device affected with not-so-easy-to-remove adware.
Further, SimBad would delete its icon on the desktop and the app drawer allowing it to operate in the dark. It ran a number of addresses as instructed by the control server after which, it used to show unwanted ads from a variety of niches and sites. Check Point further stated that the malware had three operations i.e. to open phishing and malicious websites thereby endangering user’s security and privacy, and then, the app would show plenty of unwanted ads and finally, it would automatically install random apps by searching them through the Google Play Store or any other store and installing it.
Some of the apps that were affected by SimBad are Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator (10mn downloads), Hoverboard Racing (5mn downloads), Real Tractor Farming Simulator (5mn downloads), and so on. In total, Google removed 206 apps affected by the SImBad malware as pinpointed by security research firm Check Point where just the top 10 games amounted over 55 million downloads.
Google remained unavailable for any comments as it is a recurring factor where Google reacts to the security firms and developers reporting bugs on its platform. Google has successfully removed more than 700K apps from its platform last year and counting.