Two million Android users could be infected with malware from apps on the Google Play Store. Nearly 50 apps were infected, including Pokémon Go, LEGO City My City, and FIFA Mobile.
The first infected apps are estimated to have been uploaded to the Play Store as far back as November of last year, and the most recent at the beginning of this month. Check Point, an internet security company, discovered the malware and warned Google. Google then promptly removed all of the infected apps from the store. Android devices that were infected are still dealing with the aftermath though.
The malware found in the apps is called FalseGuide and will cause occasional pop-ups on infected devices. Scammers make money on pop-ups based on how many times it is clicked on. For the time being, that is their only objective, but that can change.
FalseGuide has the potential to be very serious if their objective does change. The virus has the capabilities to retrieve your information, send messages, and access the camera and microphone on your device – All of this without your knowledge.
If your device is infected you could experience changes in data usage, battery life, and unknown charges on your phone bill along with the pop-ups that were previously mentioned.
If you believe your Android device is infected there are a few ways you can remove the virus.
1. Remove questionable apps
- Go to Settings then Apps/Application Manager
- Go through apps and look for ones that don’t look familiar.
- Click on the app, “Clear Cache,” “Clear Data,” then “Uninstall“
2. Removing malicious apps with administrator access
- Put your device in Safe Mode
- Go to Settings, Security, Device Administrators
- Find app you can’t uninstall normally and uncheck box
- Select “Deactivate” then “OK“
- Go back to Apps/Application Manager
- Repeat steps for uninstalling
3. Restart your device to finalize the removal the virus
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