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Easy Money: Scammer Nets $40,000. With Fake "anti-virus" App That Hit No. 1 on Google Play

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    "Virus Shield", an app that briefly shot to the top of the charts on Google Play, has turned out to be a complete fake and has therefore been pulled by Google.

    The scam, turned up by Android Police, is as simple as a con-man could wish for: the app includes almost no functionality whatever, yet it was briefly a chart-topper on Google Play, something that at $US 3.99 for the download.

    According to Appbrain, the software sailed past 10,000 downloads, putting its take at close to $US 40,000. for nothing at all. The Register says "almost no functionality" because the app does just one thing: it changes its icon when you tap it, pretending to be checking your phone for viruses.

    As Android Police says: "this is such a brazen and expensive fake that we felt the need to give it some special attention. It's somewhat disheartening that an app so obviously fake could rise to the top, especially considering that it's paid, and possibly hundreds or thousands of people have been defrauded already."

    To prove the point, they've posted the decompiled Java code at github.

    El Reg would note that at least two of the claims made by the software ? low battery consumption and no ads ? are true. Along with the legitimate complaint that a scam app like this should never have made it onto Google Play, The Register would also ask why a developer could get away with apparently operating under a fake identity.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/0...us_app_after_decompilation_proves_its_a_fake/
     
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  2. sogeking

    sogeking Power Member

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    sorry but that is goddamn hilarous
     
  3. TZ2011

    TZ2011 Senior Member

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    Expect more of those fake apps soon. This guy just successfully proved that control is weak or even doesn't exist.
     
  4. beasty513

    beasty513 Junior Member

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    So I guess Google Play must have some holes....
     
  5. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    you left out the prefix to "holes"
    :D
     
  6. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    ^^, exactly. All the money chasing marketers (BHW/WF/WaFo etc. has a lot of them) will be trying to make a quick buck from this method now.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. nikchaing

    nikchaing Jr. VIP Jr. VIP UnGagged Attendee

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    What if he spent a ton of money to get fake downloads to get to the top, then they caught him; so he ended up wasting his time
     
  8. SocialMediaManager

    SocialMediaManager Elite Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Birdz

    Birdz Regular Member

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    Hmmm 30k is a lot to spend on fake downloads
     
  10. funkybunker

    funkybunker Supreme Member

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    Even at $1000 of false downloads to get the ball rolling, which is a LOT of downloads (toss in a hefty dose of fake reviews), it more than paid for itself.

     
  11. UrsuAke

    UrsuAke Power Member

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    Well, remember the I'm rich app? You know, the iOS app that did nothing except existing in your apps and cost 1000$ or something. This is the same thing but for middle class people.