Google removes another 37 rogue apps from Android Market


Google has been forced to remove another slew of dodgy apps from the Android Market, after 37 were found posing as real games.

Also known as fan apps,' these applications sent user data, including OS version, International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and phone number to various remove servers as soon as the fake games were activated, Trend Micro found.

The apps also used aggressive marketing techniques, forcing users to share on Facebook what they downloaded as well as give them a rating on the Android Market.

The apps being taken off the Android Market does not eliminate this threat entirely.

Trend notified Google of the rogue apps, which were subsequently removed from the market.

"The apps being taken off the Android Market does not eliminate this threat entirely. Cyber criminals can still choose to upload them to other sites such as third-party app stores, forums and others," said Trend threats analyst Kervin Alintanahin, in a blog post.

"Quite obviously, this trend of apps being equipped with aggressive advertising methods especially those related to search monetization will be seen for quite a while. Thus, users are advised to be extra careful when installing apps."

Trend has seen various scams spreading across Android Market. It caught one developer posing as Rovio Mobile, the Angry Birds creator, but replaces the L' in the word Mobile' with a capitalised i'.

Another scam saw a fake version of the popular game Temple Run appear on the market.

Recent research from Juniper Networks showed Android malware rose 3,325 per cent in last seven months of 2011 alone.

Google has launched a feature known as Bouncer to bring added protection to the Android Market.

It will perform scans on new applications, apps already in Android Market and on developer accounts.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.