Google Play – Google’s Android app and content store – is no stranger to malware, fake apps, and money grabbing schemes. The latest report claims that the app store had listed several fake apps that didn’t actually provide their listed offerings. Researchers at global IT security firm Quick Heal Technologies have discovered in the Google Play store certain fake apps with over 50,000 installations that trick people to download and rate other sponsored apps.
“These applications appear to be genuine as a PDF reader, PDF Downloader, PDF Scanner etc., but don’t have such functionality,” Rupali Parate, an Android malware analyst at Quick Heal Technologies wrote in a blog post on Friday.
These applications prompt users to download and rate five star to sponsor apps in order to unlock this application.
After installation of other application and rating, the user would be able to use the PDF reader after 24 hours.
“But after 24 hours, the same loop starts. It asks users to login with some created password and asks them to download the same application to unlock the application,” Parate said.
The basic intention of this application is to increase the download count and good rating of sponsored apps. The sponsored application also does the same thing.
“Users should be careful while downloading such fake applications. User can easily recognise it by going through review,” Parate said, adding that Quick Heal had reported these applications to Google.