Symantec researchers have initially unearthed two modified applications that help users find and made doctor appointments, but have after discovered four more: a lottery app, a news app, and to game apps - all very popular in China.
They have all been modified in the same way, with code and files added to the original .APK package, making the app secretly steal data such as contacts' phone numbers and IMEI, sending premium SMS messages, and trying to disable several popular Chinese mobile security apps.
The researchers urge users to download apps only from reputable Android marketplaces but, as we have recently witnessed, even downloading them from Google Play is not a safe bet.
Carriers and device manufacturers are not exactly known for a fast delivery of patches, so until your ones do, you can always try to use ReKey, a mobile app that takes the upstream patch from Google and deploys it in a safe and non-destructive manner on your device.
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.