It has been reported that Google Play Store and Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store have listed more fake antivirus apps, especially the fake Kaspersky Mobile app. In April 2014, Google has refunded its users who purchased fake antivirus application, but it seems cybercriminals are intelligent enough to pass the company’s reviewing process.
Initially, Kaspersky Lab’s malware analysts found the threat in both Windows Phone Store and Android Play Store. However, Kaspersky hasn’t introduced its mobile antivirus app for Windows Phone platform yet.
As of now, the fake Kaspersky antivirus app is being sold for $3.99 and it uses the company’s original logo and other branding materials. When the users downloads the app, it fools the users by pretending as scanning the device. In Android Play Store, the fake app has been named as Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 and in Windows Phone Store, it’s been named as Kaspersky Mobile.
Meanwhile, the scammers don’t only launch one fake app, but they offer dozens of fake apps, copying the design, but not the functionality of the original. In this case, the same developer account had launched many fake apps using the brand names of other web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera Mobile.
The developer behind these apps seems to be the same one, who had created Virus Shield fake antivirus app and had been removed from Google Play last month, where Google offered refunds for the users who bought it. The same Virus Shield app has been found in Windows Phone store now.
When Google caught the fake app in April, the fake AV app had listed in many “top paid” lists in Google Play Store before being identified as a fraud. In order to calm down its users and to avoid criticism, Google offered additional $5 Play Store credits along with the refunds to those users who purchased it for $3.99.
Officially, Kaspersky Lab introduced the antivirus app for Android as “Kaspersky Internet Security for Android.” Below screenshot shows the fake Kaspersky AV app in Windows Phone Store.
Roman Unuchek, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab said in a statement:
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. 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.”
Well, this is a serious issue, where Google and Microsoft should not only ban the developer but these companies should also take precautionary measure to tackle such scammers in their respective app stores. Meanwhile, we urge our readers to check the developers of the apps and analyze it before downloading and installing it to your smartphones.