Thousands of people have been duped by downloading a hidden porn trojan on Google Play

Fifty-one different applications, with tens of thousands of downloads, on app store Google Play have been found to contain malware with a hidden Porn Clicker Trojan virus.

Researchers at global IT security company ESET discovered the infected malware on a range of popular apps, including a fake Dubsmash app.

Other infected apps include Clash of Clans 2, Subway Surfers 2 and 3, Minecraft 3, games cheats for Grand Theft Auto, and various video downloaders and download managers.

This isn’t the first time the malware, which accesses pornographic pages to generate revenue through click fraud, has been loaded on Google Play applications.

In three months, the fake Dubsmash app has returned to Google Play at least 24 times.

“Google has pulled all the reported malware-ridden apps from its store and now also reports some of them as potentially harmful applications using its built-in security service,” says Lukáš Štefanko, malware researcher at ESET.

“A telling characteristic they all share is mainly the fact that they have been uploaded by the same developer, using the same Android/Clicker, with a capability to avoid Google malware filtering each time.”

ESET says Google Play customers can reduce their risk of infection by taking careful note of reviews by other customers and ensuring they have up-to-date security software installed on their devices.

Fake Dubsmash 2. Photo: ESET Supplied

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