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Fake AV growing in mobile app stores

Zafirah Salim | May 19, 2014
Kaspersky Lab found two such programmes imitating the company’s products in Windows Phone Store and Google Play.

Fake AV

Endpoint protections solutions provider, Kaspersky Lab, has recently noted two fake antivirus programmes imitating the company’s products in two different mobile app stores.

The first fake app, Kaspersky Mobile, was discovered in Windows Phone Store. According to the media statement, there is no such programme with that name in Kaspersky’s product line; which suggests that fraudsters did not expect anyone to notice the discrepancy.

Also, this fake app is not free. Users had to pay for it, and this meant that the developers immediately started making money without having to devise additional scams such as deploying ransomware.

The second fake app was also a paid app. Called Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014, the app was for sale on Google Play. Similar to the first fake app, there is no Kaspersky Lab mobile product going by that name. The vendor claimed that the screenshot used on the page of the fake app was simply copied from the official Kaspersky Internet Security for Android page.

And unlike Kaspersky Mobile, the Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 did not even include a simulation of a scanner – the functionality was limited to random series of statements appearing on top of an “official” logo.

“The story of paid fake AV for mobiles started with the appearance of Virus Shield in the Google Play store. Now we are seeing how one successful scam spawns numerous clones,” said Roman Unuchek, Senior Malware Analyst of Kaspersky Lab.

“Scammers who want to make a quick buck from inattentive users are selling dozens of fake apps, copying the design, but not the functionality of the original. It is quite possible that more and more of these fake apps will start appearing. One thing is for sure, the security mechanisms put in place by the official stores cannot cope with these kinds of scams,” he added.


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