Google Play Store, thousands of copied apps

The umpteenth discovery by a group of researchers points out that it is almost impossible to control all the apps found on the Google Play Store. During the study conducted by the University of Sidney and CSIRO, over 2,000 apps were identified that are similar to the originals that contain malware.

Other fake apps were not infected, but badly requested data access permissions. Among the most counterfeited are some very popular games, such as Temple Run, Free Flow and Hill Climb Racing. The researchers used neural networks to identify icons of similar apps. The number has been exhausted using the private API of the well-known VirusTotal tool.

About 35% of the 2,040 fake apps were removed from the Google Play Store after their discovery and presentation of the study during the World Wide Web Conference in May. Google uses different technologies to prevent the publication and installation of infected apps, including Google Play Protect, but it is not always possible to identify fake apps.