Last week, on Thanksgiving weekend, Google removed thirteen apps from the Google Play store that were infected with malware. All of the apps were assorted racing apps added by Luiz O. Pinto.
Over 1.4 million people use Android, claiming that it’s better than the more popular iOS platform run by Apple that has over 500 million users. So far the claims of Android users are questionable (is Android really superior to Apple anyway?) but the incident that happened in November might be what the world needs to stop sitting on the fence when it comes to Android versus iOS.
Google Play With a Thanksgiving Virus
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
On Thanksgiving weekend Google removed thirteen apps from their store because they were infected with malware. Upon installing the app and opening it, the app would crash and then install a virus, unknown to the user. Upon trying the app again, you would be asked to install a “Game Center” which would then hide itself and display ads on your phone when unlocked.
Here’s a list of the apps that were removed from the Play store.
- Luxury Cars SUV Traffic
- Car Driving Simulator
- Extreme Car Driving Racing
- Moto Cross Extreme Racing
- SUV City Climb Parking
- Extreme Car Driving City
- City Traffic Moto Racing
- Extreme Sport Car Driving
- Hyper Car Driving Simulator
- Truck Cargo Simulator
- SUV 4×4 Driving Simulator
- Firefighter – Fire Truck Simulator
- Luxury Car Parking
To remove the app, launch your phone in safe mode (you get to that by pressing and holding down the power button) or put it in airplane mode to limit what the app is able to do. Next, delete the app from your device. 
What About iOS?
Interestingly enough, these apps weren’t some new, unrated games in the Google Play store. They had a total of over 560,ooo installations and two of the apps were trending on the Play store. This brings to question how did the malware sneak past so many people and also why haven’t we heard of anything like this happening in the iOS community.
The reason is that Android has an open market type of app store. This allows you to install apps from places besides the Play store, like third-party apps. It also allows malware and rogue apps to piggyback of one another onto your phone.
The iOS App Store, on the other hand, has a curated app market which doesn’t allow anything to bypass their App store. IOS also has built-in security functions, for the most part, as long as you keep your iOS up to date, it keeps your phone free of viruses. 
Is Apple better? Four hundred million people think so. If you own an android though, don’t feel bad, you can always install some antivirus. Just make sure the antivirus isn’t the one selling apps full of malware in the Play store to keep themselves in business.
- ^Price, Emily. “Make Sure You Didnt Download One of These Malicious Apps From Google Play.” Lifehacker, Lifehacker.com, 26 Nov. 2018, lifehacker.com/make-sure-you-didnt-download-one-of-these-malicious-app-1830662773. (go back↩)
- ^“Why Apple iPhones Dont Need Antivirus Software.” Toms Guide, Tom’s Guide, 14 Dec. 2017, www.tomsguide.com/us/iphones-dont-need-antivirus-software,news-23111.html. (go back↩)