Report shows that counterfeit Google Play apps target data and cash
The majority of popular applications on Google’s Play Store online site have counterfeit copies loaded with malware. The malware is created to steal personal and financial information, a report has found.
According to Trend Micro a security company 77% of the top 50 applications on the storefront dedicated to Android powered smartphones have fakes which are designed to mimic the popular programs.
Trend Micro’s vice president of Technology and Solutions JD Sherry said, “These are like side-street knockoffs of name brand items but instead of a fake and harmless Rolex, you could download potentially dangerous mobile malware.”
Google does make an effort to root out fake or malicious apps on the platform.
Before BlackBerry launched BBM or BlackBerry Messenger for Android, there were a number of fake BBM apps on Google Play Store, but most of those have been removed.
Mobile users should be aware that scammers will often attempt to get them to download applications from third party platforms such as websites.
Such platforms even instruct unknowing victims to turn off Android security in order to download the content. It is more than likely that any Android app that requires such an installation contains a malicious payload.
One can make sure that their Android device only downloads from the Play Store by following these settings: [Settings – Security – Unknown Sources].
Other than fake apps, users should also be aware of genuine applications that cost a small fortune like Lain Logo that costs R815.77 but simply presents a logo screen.
At a cost of R2000 the Expensive Application is one of three that cost a lot and has an installation size of 633KB and publication date of 29 April 2014, with scant information of what the application actually does.
Even though some apps do not have a malicious payload scammers could potentially inject the instructions to scoop up user data which could benefit the authors.
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