“Researchers have uncovered a new adware strain that, until recently, was running rampant on the Google Play Store,” Dell Cameron reports for Gizmodo. “More than 200 applications are said to carry the malware.”

“In a post Wednesday, Israeli security firm Check Point said applications known to contain this particular adware strain—dubbed ‘SimBad’ — had been downloaded almost 150 million times, primarily by gamers,” Cameron reports. “Check Point said the malware resides inside an apparently widely used advertising software development kit (SDK) provided by ‘addroider[.]com.’ Once installed, SimBad receives instructions from a command and control server, such as an order to make its icon disappear in an effort to make the app harder to remove. It then begins to display background ads and can open any URL in the phone’s browser.”

“The researchers noted that while SimBad appears geared toward serving ads for now, it has the infrastructure to evolve into ‘a much larger threat,'” Cameron reports. “Two months ago, [Google’s] detection systems were bypassed by a batch of 85 apps that, by the time Google was able to delete them, had infected some 9 million users. Just a few days earlier, users in 196 countries were infected by a slew of apps capable of accessing contact lists and SMS messages and even recording audio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here, kid, play with this.

Then, after you grow up and wise up, get a real iPhone.

Some 17,000 Android apps track users, even when told to stop – February 14, 2019
Apps installed on millions of Android phones tracked user behavior to execute a multimillion-dollar ad fraud scheme – October 25, 2018
New Android malware records ambient audio, fires off premium-rate texts, and harvests files, photos, contacts, and more – March 2, 2018
Android malware apps with over 1 million downloads slip past Google Play defenses – twice! – September 14, 2017
How to upgrade from Android to a real Apple iPhone – August 21, 2017
Video: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Cisco Live, blasts Android’s shoddy security – June 26, 2017
Security expert: There are several reasons why Apple iPhones are more secure than Android phones – May 31, 2017
Russian hacker gang robbed Russian banks with over one million hacked Android phones – May 22, 2017
36 widely-used Android devices ship with malware preinstalled – March 14, 2017
The cost of free: More than one million Google Android devices hit by malware – November 30, 2016
Secret backdoor in U.S. Android phones sent location, text, contact data to China – November 15, 2016
Google’s Android platform has a serious flaw – August 23, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TJ” for the heads up.]