Sophos’ Graham Cluley reports that fake (and free) versions of ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ and other popular games have been made available on Google Play by an Android app developer called Abbaradon.
“The app itself isn’t Plants vs Zombies at all,” Cluley writes. “It’s a simple jigsaw puzzle-type app, that uses an image from the game. And it’s not just Abbaradon. SophosLabs has seen scores of similar bogus apps, trying to make money out of unsuspecting users, in the last couple of weeks. Google tries to stamp out the rogue developers, but they simply return with a new name and start uploading their fake apps again.”
Not only does the app itself not deliver the game promised, but it displays ads, collects your e-mail address and phone number, changes your browser’s home page, adds a bookmark to your browser, and adds icons to your device’s home screen. “All of this is designed to earn money for the app developer,” Cluley notes.
“Abbaradon has seemingly been booted out of Google Play and his account has been closed, but a simple search reveals that he or other ‘developers’ offering the same apps are still there, peddling their wares,” writes Help Net Security’s Zeljka Zorz.