It is not happening for the first time that we are hearing about bogus developers flooding Google Play with fake Android games or apps. Graham Cluley from Naked Security posted today that a bunch of bogus developers have posted fake versions of games like Plants vs Zombies, Asphalt, The SIMS, Doodle Jump, GTI and the list goes on. Clearly, Google’s Bouncer is not very effective against these developers.
If we believe Graham, none of these fake games seems to be packing any dangerous malwares, but they are still harmful. These apps do put random shortcuts on home-screen, change browser homepage and more. However, they seems to be asking permission to do so first, but not very often users read these dialogue boxes and click accept, resulting in a lot of crap on their phones and obviously they are not getting the app/game. Most of these bogus games are a simple jigsaw puzzle-type app that uses an image from the game.
It is a clear example of title-bait, in which a rogue developer names his/her app same as a popular app and when installed these fake apps flood the user’s phone/tablet with ads and spam shortcuts, which in turn get him/her money.
Naked Security adds:
The program admits that it is ad-supported, may display adverts in apps and your Android device’s notification tray.
Furthermore, they say they will collect information about you – including your email address and phone number – if you click on any of the adverts, and pass it onto third parties.
And all you wanted to do was have a free game of football..
But it doesn’t stop there, the app is also going to change your browser’s home page, add a bookmark, and add icons to your device’s home screen. All of this is designed to earn money for the app developer.
It goes without saying that you should always download an app from Google Play after checking the publisher or ratings, if it is a popular game/app; it is bound to have thousands of reviews, which are not present in fake versions.
We hope Google is taking note of such developers and soon finds a way to deal with this growing problem.