Fake Minecraft apps on Google Play: ESET
By Digital News Asia May 26, 2015
- Over 30 scareware apps, installed by more than 600K Android users worldwide
- Google has removed the rogue apps from its app store
RESEARCHERS from security company ESET have discovered more than 30 fake applications available for download on the Google Play Store.
The malicious applications, which pretended to be cheats for the popular Minecraft game, have been installed by more than 600,000 Android users, ESET reported on WeLiveSecurity.com.
Following ESET’s notification, Google has removed the rogue apps from the store, the Bratislava, Slovakia-headquartered company said in a statement.
ESET detects the scareware apps as Android/FakeApp.AL. Despite poor user reviews and negative comments, the scareware has spread massively during the past months.
“The seriousness of this threat lies in the fact that it may have been downloaded by almost three million users from the official Google Play store,” said ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko.
“To avoid the installation of malicious or unwanted applications, refrain from downloading apps from unofficial sources and keep security software on your Android [device] up-to-date,” he added.
The scareware techniques inside the fake apps are used to trick victims into registering for a premium-rate service.
“Associating fake applications with popular games is just another example of a sneaky technique used by hackers to encourage users to download hidden malware,” said Parvinder Walia, sales director at ESET Asia Pacific.
“This can be dangerous as it potentially allows your mobile device and sensitive and private information to be accessed without your consent.
“With this in mind, we strongly recommend that users do some research into apps, such as reading reviews, before downloading and avoid downloading from unofficial app stores.”
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