PhoneSpeck Press Release

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Case study: Over 2,000 dangerous apps discovered on Google Play Store

app store

A recent study by the WSJ revealed that there are millions of fake business listings on Google Maps, and another two-year-long study has discovered one more security weakness indicating thousands of malware-ridden counterfeit apps on Google Play Store.

Google Play Store contains millions of apps, but not all apps are the same by their nature and unusual behavior. Only 2,040 apps were found possibly infected apps, while some apps were caught stealing users data by requiring users to grant permissions, according to the University of Sydney and Data61 study.

It's not confirmed whether suspicious apps managed to steal any data linked to the app users.

Google is continuously making efforts to keep the platform virus-free and threat-free. It has removed many security weaknesses in the Chrome browser by providing the latest updates for the desktop version and mobile-based web browser. In the past, the search giant flagged thousands of fake apps on its app store — but we need to take more drastic action against the offenders.

The University of Sydney worked with Australian federal government agency CSIRO's data science research team and spent two years revealing the facts through a tool designed to identify similar app icons and text descriptions. The AI-based tools used in research detected 49,608 threats. However, none of the studied apps are available on the app store, as Google has removed suspicious apps in an effort to protect its platform from being used for offensive purposes.

The study further reveals that fraudsters have used similar titles and app icons of the most popular games to spread fake apps across the play store. Temple Run, Free Flow, and Hill Climb Racing were among the impersonated apps, reports Computer World.

Don't look at download counts — It's important to double-check app rating, developer reputation, and if possible, read app review on the web as well as on app store, but be sure to identify if the app developer hasn't self-reviewed an app.

Source | Via

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