Security firm Avast released this report earlier today stating that certain games on Google Play, once downloaded, infect your device with adware, a type of malware that causes unwanted ads to constantly pop up on your screen. “Durak,” one of the infected games, has had 5 to 10 million downloads in both English speaking countries and foreign nations.
Avast researcher Filip Chytry found adware in over a dozen apps including an IQ Test and a history app.
Once downloaded, the apps don’t start showing ads right away, often taking up to 30 days to start serving ads. According to TechCrunch, your phone has to be rebooted at least once before the adware begins but once it does, an ad will appear each time the user unlocks their phone. A warning will be shown stating that the phone is infected, in need of updating, or full of porn. The ad will ask users to be redirected to a site to fix the problem, but that site will simply collect information and personal data.
Some of the ads were from legitimate companies. Even more surprising, some were from real online security apps, such as Quihoo 360. To be sure you’re not installing dangerous apps, read descriptions carefully. Many of the descriptions of the adware-laden apps are written in broken English.