Fake antivirus programs are slowly but surely invading mobile app stores, according to security vendor Kaspersky Lab - after it found at least two apps imitating its products.
“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,” said Roman Unuchek, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
Unuchek added it is now "quite possible" that more of such fake apps will start appearing.
"One thing is for sure, the security mechanisms put in place by the official stores cannot cope with these kinds of scams,” Unuchek said.
Kaspersky said the first fake app was found in the Windows Phone Store - a giveaway of sorts, since Kaspersky does not make AV apps for the Microsoft platform.
But the fake app can hurt users' pockets as it required users to pay for it.
"This meant its creators immediately started making money without having to devise additional scams such as demanding payments to remove 'malware' that had supposedly been detected on users’ computers," Unuchek said.
Meanwhile, a second fake Kaspersky Lab app dubbed "Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014" was posted for sale on Google Play, the app store for Android devices.
For the fake Android app, Kaspersky said the creators "didn’t even bother to add a simulation of a scanner – the functionality was limited to random series of statements appearing on top of an 'official' logo." -- Joel Locsin/TJD, GMA News