The Google Play Store has had its fair share of security issues. In this latest instance, the SimBad rogue adware was found by the Check Point research team to have infected over 200 now-gone apps on the Google Play Store (via Android Police).
According to the report, there is cause to be concerned as SimBad has three main malicious capabilities. These include phishing, showing ads, and exposure to other rogue applications.
It’s called SimBad as it tended to affect mainly simulator games. Check Point confirmed that 206 applications were known to be affected by this adware and the total download count of these applications has reached almost 150 million globally.
For anyone worried that they might download or have downloaded the apps in question, Google was swiftly notified and all those infected applications have now been removed from the Google Play Store.
While that is great news, Check Point said that although SimBad works like adware at present, it “already has the infrastructure to evolved into a much greater threat.”
As for how the malware works, once an SimBad-infected app is installed, it connects to a command and control server for further exploitation. That means it can open a URL within the device browser for instance, which can lead to further attacks. It can even allow someone using SimBad to install apps remotely.
More on the Google Play Store:
- Google Play has flagged 1 million Android apps for pre-release security issues in 5 years
- New and updated apps in Google Play will need to support Android 9 Pie by the end of 2019
- Google widely rolls out Material Theme redesign of Play Store ‘Ratings and reviews’ on Android