30 April 2013

Apps removed from Google Play: be careful what you download

Google has removed 32 apps from Google Play after the apps were discovered carrying a new form of malware (BadNews).

Globally, the apps have been downloaded millions of times.

Although the apps are no longer available from Google Play, if you have already downloaded any of these apps on your device you will need to uninstall them, they contain malware which may access your personal information or introduce further costly malware.

The apps concerned come from a variety of categories including games, recipes and wallpaper, mostly in Russian or English.

List of apps containing malware

Image credit: Lookout

Downloading apps

Always consider carefully the access you grant any app to your device and personal information.

Read the terms and conditions provided by each app before you accept. Many apps ask for access to more than the minimum they need. Be aware of what you are prepared to allow.

Malware on mobile devices is an increasing concern.

It is advisable to use a reputable mobile security product on your device.

Many apps include advertising which, although legitimate, can be used to promote other malicious apps, or collect large amounts of data for purposes that are often unclear.

Google has recently changed its procedures for updating apps. Third parties will no longer be able to push updates outside of Google Play. It is hoped this will reduce the ability for apps to carry or distribute malware.

More information

The original post by mobile security firm Lookout, who identified the malicious apps.

Stay Smart Online advice for securing mobile devices.

Tips for using mobile devices online.

Read our blog about kids, mobiles and staying safe online.


Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts, Advisories and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.


This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

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Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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