A bug that steals cash by racking up charges from sending premium rate text messages has been found in Google Play.
Security researchers have identified 32 apps on Google Play that harbour the bug called BadNews. A security firm Lookout, which uncovered BadNews, said that the malicious program lays dormant on handsets for weeks to escape detection.
The malware targeted Android owners in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in eastern Europe, the BBC reports.
According to the reports, these 32 apps were available through four separate developer accounts on Google Play. Google has now suspended those accounts and it has pulled all the affected apps from Google Play, it added.
Half of the 32 apps seeded with BadNews are Russian and the version of AlphaSMS it installed is tuned to use premium rate numbers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan.