Google bans 13 popular Android apps – delete them now or pay a price

If you use an Android-powered device and haven’t given it a spring clean in a while then now is a very good time to check your apps. Google has just removed a total of 13 applications from its Play Store after security experts from McAfee discovered they were infected with the nasty Xamalicious bug.

Once installed on a device, this seriously scary virus is fully capable of allowing cyber crooks to take over some features remotely including navigating the screen and granting themselves a swathe of permissions. With that kind of access, hackers can then infect devices with unwanted spyware or even money-stealing banking trojans without the owner ever knowing anything is wrong.

The bug also offers crooks the ability to hide on-screen elements meaning the owner can’t see phone-slowing adware being installed.

McAfee has confirmed that a total of 25 apps have been found to contain this vicious Xamalicious virus with 13 readily available to download via Google’s official Play Store. That has meant over 300,000 people have downloaded and installed them.

According to McAfee, the majority of downloads took place in the UK, USA, Brazil, Spain and Germany. That’s why it’s vital you now check your device today.

HERE ARE 13 APPS TO AVOID AND DELETE

• Essential Horoscope for Android – 100,000 downloads

• 3D Skin Editor for PE Minecraft – 100,000 downloads

• Logo Maker Pro – 100,000 downloads

• Auto Click Repeater – 10,000 downloads

• Count Easy Calorie Calculator – 10,000 downloads

• Sound Volume Extender – 5,000 downloads

• LetterLink – 1,000 downloads

• NUMEROLOGY: PERSONAL HOROSCOPE &NUMBER PREDICTIONS – 1,000 downloads

• Step Keeper: Easy Pedometer – 500 downloads

• Track Your Sleep – 500 downloads

• Sound Volume Booster – 100 downloads

• Astrological Navigator: Daily Horoscope & Tarot – 100 downloads

• Universal Calculator – 100 downloads

Think you may have installed these on your device? It’s now vital you remove them without delay. It’s also a good idea to then run an anti-virus check on your phone to see if the Xamalicious has been intstalled without your knowledge.

MacAfee is also advising users to avoid using apps that require accessibility services unless there is a genuine need for use. If a new app tries to convince you to activate accessibility services claiming that it’s required without a real and reasonable reason and requesting to ignore the operative system warning, then it’s a red flag.

Because it is difficult for users to actively deal with all these threats, McAfee also says that users should consider installing security software on their devices and always keep up to date.

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