Google has removed 24 apps from the Google Play Store that contained malware that have been downloaded almost five hundred thousand times. That writes The Next Web. The malware was discovered by cyber security company CSIS.

The malware had access to text messages on the phone, among other things. Because the malware could open advertisements and obtain the verification codes from the text messages, unpaid paid subscriptions could be concluded.

In addition, the malware had access to the contact lists and information such as the serial number and IMEI number, a unique code for each telephone.

The malware worked on phones with SIM cards from 37 different countries, including the Netherlands. Many of the infected apps were camera apps and apps with backgrounds.

It is not the first time that Google has removed apps from the Play Store due to malware. The popular CamScanner app was recently removed and earlier this year 85 apps with adware were removed.