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Millions of Android phone users are being told to check their devices with a matter of urgency, wiping off some of the popular apps which Google has now banned.

Security experts have recently uncovered a brand-new threat aimed towards Android phone users, with millions of device owners being urged to check their phones and delete certain apps instantly.

Spotted by the team at McAfee Mobile Security, the latest cyber attack has the potential to infect popular apps with a malicious software library – which can then start performing tasks unknowingly to the device holder.

Upon contamination, fraudsters are able to check Wi-Fi history, Bluetooth connections, app usage and even a GPS signal for the device – meaning a crook can tell exactly where you’ve been, and what you’ve been up to.

The Mirror reports that furthermore, Android owners could potentially be generating money for hackers without knowing about it, with the bug capable of committing add fraud by clicking rogue advertisements in the background. This hack will also slow your device down, due to the processor being overworked and overloaded with data and information.

The tricky new threat appears to be a major issue, with experts estimating that infected apps could well have been downloaded millions of times. McAfee, said: “The research team has found more than 60 applications containing this third-party malicious library, with more than 100 million downloads.”


The research team has since informed Google, with the US tech giant asking developers to fix their apps – or see them banned from the app store. And while some have co-operated with the utmost haste, over 30 have now been blocked as they were found to still contain the malicious library.

McAfees’ SangRyol Ryu, said: “We reported the discovered apps to Google, which took prompt action. Google has reportedly notified the developers that their apps are in violation of Google Play policies and fixes are needed to reach compliance.


“Some apps were removed from Google Play while others were updated by the official developers.”

While the issue is mainly targeted at South Korean users, it’s still a reminder to all Android users to take care before they download new apps willy nilly. You should be sure to always check user reviews, make sure you’re downloading from a trusted developer – and if you notice your phone’s behaviour to change, you should delete the app altogether.


You can see the full list of affected apps on McAfee’s official website, here.

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