Despite Google's recent implementation of the Bouncer anti-malware scanning service, AegisLab researchers have found more than 15 fake anti-virus and other fraudulent apps on the official Google Play Android app market.
"The applications appear to have been uploaded by one developer who operates under the handle Thasimola," writes Threatpost's Brian Donohue. "According to AegisLab, the developer used AppsGeyser, an Android application webkit, to automatically generate the fake apps. When AegisLab published its report on Tuesday, the writer noted that the number of fake apps had been increasing. As of now, Thasimola’s developer profile is unreachable. Whether or not Google took action on the account is not clear."
"When users try to download the app, they are redirected to the developers' 'official' site, and the researchers are still not clear on whether the offered apps are malicious, or just a way of luring users to this particular site," writes Help Net Security's Zejlka Zorz. "The apps may be free of charge and simply not work as advertised, but the are still bad news as users who have installed them might believe they are protected when they are not."
"Users are advised to only download applications from known and trusted publishers, and to to avoid secondary marketplaces as much as possible, and to also double-check that they’re downloading the official version of a particular application, not a bogus version of it," writes ZDNet's Dancho Danchev.