Security App Minus the Security

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 07:04 PM gHale

An app that briefly shot to the top of the charts on Google Play, “Virus Shield,” is a complete fake and ended up pulled by the mother ship at Google, researchers said.

Uncovered by the Android Police, the app included almost no functionality, yet it was briefly a chart-topper on Google Play, costing $3.99 to download.

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According to Appbrain, the software sailed past 10,000 downloads, putting its take at close to $40,000. What the app appears to do is it changes its icon when you tap it, pretending to be checking your phone for viruses.

“This is such a brazen and expensive fake that we felt the need to give it some special attention,” the Android Police said. “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.”

“We’ve decompiled the app and mirrored the java code on GitHub, minus a few art assets. We’ve confirmed that this app is totally and completely devoid of any security benefit, but you don’t have to take our word for it – several Google+ users have helped us to confirm its bogus nature,” Android Police said in its blog.

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

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