There are at least 17 Trojan apps disguised as games available in the Google Play store, according to digital security firm Avast.
The apps are part of the HiddenAds family, a Trojan disguised as a safe and useful app that instead serves intrusive ads outside of the app.
Avast previously identified and reported 47 of these gaming apps to Google, which have been downloaded more than 15 million times together.
The company explained that these applications can hide their icon on an infected device and then show intrusive ads across the device. Ads will continue to run even after the app is removed.
“Campaigns like HiddenAds can enter the Play Store by obfuscating its true purpose or by slowly introducing malicious features that have already been downloaded by users,” said Jakub Vávra, threat analyst at Avast.
“Adware campaigns are hard to avoid as actors use unique developer accounts for each app. While Google has been a great partner in removing malicious apps, users should be vigilant as they download new apps to their devices and look for telltale signs. from a bad app, like negative reviews, lengthy requests for device permissions and more. “