The 49,000 counterfeits thrown by the machine learning model were analyzed with the private API of online malware analysis tool VirusTotal.
This revealed a total of 7,246 malicious apps, with 2,040 of them being high risk, fake programs.
It is also worth noting that 1,565 flagged apps sought unnecessary permissions and 1,407 had at least five third-party ad libraries embedded.
Many apps have already been removed
The researchers presented their findings at last month's World Wide Web Conference and noted that some 35% of the flagged apps have already been removed since their discovery. Google has not yet commented on the matter or on the risky apps available on Play Store.
These kind of apps can compromise your phone, its data
Though the researchers didn't detail the exact impact of the flagged apps, malicious fake programs are often used as a way to mine data from smartphones.
These seemingly legit services can be used to monitor your phone's activity and steal confidential information, like passwords for banking services.
Some programs could even phish you into giving away your confidential details.
How can you avoid such programs
As programs like these pose a major threat, it is recommended to screen apps before downloading them.
You can check user reviews and visit the website of the developers to be sure that the program is legit and not a trap to steal your information.
Google is getting better at flagging/removing malicious programs, but this will keep you on the safer side.