Google has pulled numerous apps from its Play Store, after they were found to be infected with malicious software. A Nexus 5 owner named Andrei Mankevich was the first to spot this particular threat, which he discovered while he was trying to understand how his own handset had become infected.
Mankevich posted his findings on the forum of security firm Avast, which today published details of its own investigation, describing the problem as “bigger than [they] originally thought.”
The malicious code buried in seemingly innocent apps causes pop-up messages to appear on the device; in some cases, this happens every time the device is switched on. These messages – many of which are written with a clear sense of urgency and impending doom – encourage users to visit sites to download additional software.
This video, published by Mankevich, shows some of these notifications in action