Beware of Imposter Android Apps Like Madden NFL, Angry Chicken
Angry Chicken? Whatever happened to Angry Birds?
It still exists, but some Android phone users may have mistaken the first app for a second edition. It, and a dozen or so other fake Android apps, have made their way into the official Android store.
Instead of providing access to endless fun, these apps collect personal information, spam inboxes, and install other apps without permission.
Jetpack Joyride, Madden NFL 12 and Pinterest are also amongst the fake Android apps, reports Gizmodo. Most of them list Rovio Mobile as the developer -- a name incredibly similar to Rovio Entertainment, the real creator of Angry Birds.
Google works hard to keep dangerous apps from its Android Market, but it's difficult to catch them all. Earlier this month, the company unveiled Bouncer, software designed to scan the Market for malware. It is responsible for a 40% decrease in malicious downloads, reports MSNBC.
However, there are some security flaws. Trusted developers may be hacked, and apps can collect data in ways that don't require actual malware. Such apps are likely to evade Bouncer.
Though Google has removed the offending apps, Android users should exercise caution when downloading apps from the Android Market or anywhere else. Cross-check the name of an app's developer (or the app itself) and don't input any personal information if requested.
Some experts also suggest Android users purchase phone security software that protects against all types of malware.
(For the curious, Android Police is maintaining a list of the fake Android apps on Google+.)
- How to spot fake Android apps (Help Net Security)
- Android Apps Security: Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Google Phone (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Android is Prime Target for Viruses: Malware Threats Up 76% (FindLaw's Common Law)