HYDERABAD: Remember those addictive block games that were available on portable video game players during the 90s? They are even popular in the smartphone age too. However, one needs to be careful while downloading these games which are available on Google Play.
A recent research report by Avast antivirus flagged various block puzzle games available on Google Play like Block Puzzle Jewel, My Blocks, Block Puzzles, Block Puzzles Free, My Puzzles store because they come laced with malwares.
It works like this. When a user installs the game and starts playing it, the gameplay gets interrupted after a while by a system alert. The system alert asks the person to download “an update”, which in reality is not an update. The research paper said, “In fact, it’s a new app disguised as an update, and it carries a malware payload that can affect the user’s system in many ways.”
Following the installation of malware, it might be even weeks before it gets activated. Once it does, these fake updates collect location and personal information about a user’s phone and upload it to a remote server, the paper said.
“In the case of these block puzzle apps, the malicious payload floods you with ads. But that payload can change any time, for instance, when this monetization model becomes less effective for the developer. If the remote server gets compromised, the app may actually update itself, becoming a crypto mining malware or ransomware in the future,” the paper said.“If you want to know that yours is not a fake update, you can check your list from your phone’s settings.
checking Fake apps
If you see an app name followed by another app of the same name with ‘Update’ appended to its title, it’s most likely a fake update app that you should uninstall, the research paper said.