Security software developer Dr Web today said it has discovered malicious programmes on Google Play which send short messages to premium numbers and deplete subscriber accounts.
The Russia-based firm said about 11,000 to 25,000 devices are infected by these malicious programmes.
"Dr.WEB has discovered several malicious programmes on Google Play that install Android.SmsSend Trojans on mobile devices. The Trojans send short messages to premium numbers and deplete subscriber accounts," it said in a release.
Google was promptly notified about the incident, it added.
The programmes, discovered by Doctor Web's analysts, belong to the Vietnamese developer AppStore Jsc. They are disguised as audio players and a video player that displays adult content. The total number of installations of these three programmes ranges between 11,000 and 25,000," it said.
Although, these applications appear harmless, they have an extra apk-file that contains an Android.SmsSend Trojan, Dr Web said.
While running these applications, dubbed Android.MulDrop, Android.MulDrop.1 and Android.MulDrop.2 by Dr.Web, they can prompt the user to download the content they need, but their consent initiates the installation of another application rather than the downloading of files, it added.