Google is criticised for weak Android Play store security

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Google Android Malware

SECURITY FIRM Sophos has criticised Google for the state of its security controls on the Play store for Android devices.

A blog post by the firm's Graham Cluley said that the number of "bogus" apps in the Google Play store suggests that the firm is not doing enough to protect users.

He asked, "Is Google doing a good enough job of policing apps in the official Android app store?"

Then he answered, "It seems not, judging by the number of bogus apps that continue to be made available for public download from Google Play, exploiting the name and reputation of legitimate games in an attempt to make money for fraudsters."

Sophos has stumbled upon an uploader who goes by the name "abbaradon" and is looking to make money from shonky versions of well-known games.

Abbaradon has uploaded versions of games including Plants vs Zombies and Pro Evolution Soccer 2012.

These are free downloads and they are not the games that they appear to be. Cluley said that the Plants vs Zombies version is just a sliding puzzle game. This is probably annoying, but it is also rather dangerous.

Cluley said that the Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 game would take the personal details of users, share them, and add things to their home screens.

"The app is also going to change your browser's home page, add a bookmark, and add icons to your device's home screen," he added. "All of this is designed to earn money for the app developer."

Google could be doing more to recognise problem apps, according to the post, and might need better systems for discovering them.

"Although it's easy for a human analyst to determine that the apps are doing similar things, it seems that Google's automated systems are finding it a far harder job to weed out these fake money-making apps from their Android app store," said Cluley.

"Android malware is a growing problem, with rogue apps even making their way into the official Google Play store."

Earlier this month we reported that people were complaining about lack of security control over the Android devices.

Then, we read that as many as 60 percent of Android users are running out of date versions of the mobile operating system, which can cause security problems. µ

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