Many users have left a 1-star rating for these apps, and users have reported that their phones have slowed down after being forced to download other apps. It’s not clear what the extra downloads are, and speculation should be malicious.
Don't install these apps from Google Play – it's malware.
-all together 560,000+ installs
-after launch, hide itself icon
-downloads additional APK and makes user install it (unavailable now)
-2 apps are #Trending
-no legitimate functionality
— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) November 19, 2018
This is far from being the first official app store to discover malicious apps. Google’s app review process has been criticized, but search giants don’t seem to want to make changes.
For users who’ve already downloaded the malware, they should either attempt to find it and remove it themselves, using the phone search features or use anti-virus to delete it for them, Stefanko said.