A malicious actor recently smuggled 13 malicious apps disguised as driving simulator games into Google Play, resulting in more than 560,000 installations before they were removed.

Each of the sketchy apps was found to download and launch in the background an additional malicious APK, titled "Game Center." This APK hides its own icon and displays ads whenever an infected device is unlocked, according to Lukas Stefanko, malware researcher at ESET, who revealed the scam in a series of tweets on Nov. 19.

The baker's dozen of adware apps have "no legitimate functionality," added Stefanko. They were all developed by "Luis O Pinto" and pretended to offer the experience of virtually driving sports cars, motorcycles, fire trucks and other assorted vehicles. Two of the apps were trending.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.