Researchers from ESET have discovered more than 30 fake applications available for download on the Google Play Store. The malicious set of applications, which pretended to be cheats for the popular Minecraft game, have been installed by more than 600,000 Android users, reports ESET
Following ESET’s s notification, Google has removed the rogue apps from the store. 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,” says Lukas Stefanko, Malware Researcher at ESET.
The scareware techniques inside the fake apps are used to trick victims into registering for a premium-rate service. “To avoid the installation of malicious or unwanted applications, refrain from downloading apps from unofficial sources and keep security software on your Android up-to-date,” Stefanko adds.
“Gaming in Asia-Pacific is a popular past time, which is enjoyed by people of all ages. Associating fake applications with popular games is just another example of a sneaky technique used by hackers to encourage users to download hidden malware. 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,” says Parvinder Walia, Sales Director at ESET Asia Pacific.