On Sunday, Android Police (a popular news and review site) published a post on “Virus Shield“— an app which reached top ranking in Play, and yet, was a complete fraud. In a follow up, DailyTech did some digging and believes the app was written by a 17 year-old Texan. Apparently he’s good at SEO.
Whether he’s the guy or not… it fits the typical profile. A young person with good SEO skills pushing a rather useless app.
Lame “SEO apps” are prevalant on Google Play. They’re easy to find if you look.
• Best Antivirus Lite
• SAFE antivirus Limited
• Skulls Antivirus
• Shnarped Hockey antivirus lite
Best and SAFE link to one “developer”— while Skulls and Shnarped Hockey link to another.
Though there are two different developers… the apps are identical apart from their name. The apps appear to be based on a template (there are markets for app templates) and all the so-called developers have done is to add their own graphics.
Android apps: no developer skills required.
So what do the apps do?
Well, the “antivirus” open sa screen label “anti spyware”.
Hmm, the terms changed. That ought to be a warning sign.
Click “Start Scan” and the app does a basic scan of permissions for installed apps. Apps with a large number of permissions are categorized as a risk and those with a low number of permissions are called safe. And if you want to see the details? Well, then you need to buy the “full” version of the app for about a buck. In our humble opinion, the folks who bought the full versions (more than one thousand) completely wasted their money.
Google Play: caveat emptor.
P.S. If you want an app that does an advanced scan of permissions and provides excellent details entirely FREE of charge…
Check out F-Secure App Permissions for Android.
On 10/04/14 At 05:03 PM