At least two million Google Play downloads gave Android users an unwanted freebie in the form of BadNews, a piece of malware which masqueraded as a legitimate advertising network.

The malware was integrated into 32 different apps in the Google Store, according to mobile security specialist Lookout. Those apps have been downloaded more than two million times, exposing users to embedded advertising – but the ads then push users towards fake app updates – which in turn send out premium-rate SMS messages via the well-known AlphaSMS malware.

BadNews, as the malware has been dubbed by Lookout, slipped by Google’s automated detection by posing as a legit advertising network. Such networks fund free apps by supplying standard-sized advertisements, and thus it shows ads for other applications by the same authors.

Editor note: There are many free anti-virus apps available on Google Play so I really suggest that you download and use one of them. I use Dr. Web’s free app and I know BitDefender also has a free app that should give your phone a relatively good protection.

Source: The Register