Android users could be at risk for a big security threat, according to Prague-based antivirus provider Avast.
Avast received a tip earlier this week that certain apps on GooglePlay could be infected with malware. Upon first glance nothing seemed amiss, according to Avast analyst Filip Chytry. However, when he took a closer look, he noticed something unusual.
“First of all, the apps are on Google Play, meaning that they have a huge target audience,” Chytry wrote on Avast’s blog. “In English-speaking and other language regions as well.”
Chytry added that the apps had already been downloaded by millions of users and that some adware lead to legitimate businesses. The apps include Durak (a card game), an IQ test and a history game. The last two weren’t referred to by name, since Avast only mentioned them generically.
Though Daily Mail reported that 15 million users had downloaded the apps, that number doesn’t necessarily specify the number of devices infected.
Chytry noted that the apps don’t initially appear malicious, which is why they went unnoticed for some time.
“After a week, you might start to feel there is something wrong with your device. Some of the apps wait up to 30 days until they show their true colors,” Chytry wrote. “After 30 days, I guess not many people would know which app is causing abnormal behavior.”
Chytry warned that once malware is activated, users will see pop-ads claiming the phone has problems: it’s infected, out of date or riddled with pornographic content, for example. Chytry insisted that these warnings are lies.