Google does everything to protect its users, but it’s good to remember that smartphone security is always a personal responsibility.

When we open the Play Store on our Android smartphone and prepare to download a new app, we usually take it for granted that it is a safe program, which has already passed Google’s checks and can therefore be easily installed on our device. Unfortunately, some recent research has shown that this belief is often wrong and, indeed, exposes us to different types of dangers.

Google works hard to keep the Play Store safe, but unfortunately some threats can escape its controls – Sjbeez

Recently, a group of cybersecurity researchers from the McAfee team discovered a new strain of malware, nicknamed "Xamalicious", which appears to be capable of affecting the devices of thousands of users around the world. In particular, the alarm was raised against users who downloaded 25 specific Android apps, which were then identified as infected.

What to do if you have installed one of these apps?

Xamalicious is malware designed to take total control of your Android smartphone or tablet. Once installed, it can install additional malicious software and click on advertisements without user consent, generating illicit revenue for hackers. This malware is particularly insidious because it takes advantage of Android’s accessibility features, normally reserved for legitimate software, to carry out its nefarious activities.

Infected apps must be removed from user devices immediately – Sjbeez

McAfee security researchers discovered that Xamalicious was hidden in 14 applications available in the Google Play Store, but also in some other apps that were no longer present on the store but remained installed on over 100,000 devices before their removal. Despite the company’s continuous efforts to protect its users from malware and unwanted software, therefore, users should try to constantly stay informed about the latest developments.

Among the various infected apps, "3D Skin Editor for PE Minecraft" and "Logo Maker Pro" were identified, both with over 100,000 downloads, "Auto Click Repeater", "Count Easy Calorie Calculator", "Sound Volume Extender" and "LetterLink" ", which have been installed on a range of 5,000 to 10,000 smartphones and, finally, some less popular apps such as "Numerology: Personal Horoscope and Number Predictions", "Step Keeper: Easy Pedometer", "Track Your Sleep" and " Sound Volume Booster".

If you notice that one of these apps is installed on your device, it is essential to take immediate action by first deleting any account created and then the entire app from the system. It would then be advisable to run a Security Check with a reliable antivirus app to check for any threats installed on the device by the infected apps.

Finally, it is advisable to update the operating system, if there are updates available, and remember that Google recommends downloading apps only from reliable sources, but also staying constantly updated on the latest developments in cybersecurity.