We all know that – sadly – malware on Android can be a problem and seems to be on the rise. Whilst the platform seems secure enough, at least for my liking, it seems that crooks will always find a way to cash in off the backs of others. To this end, a Latvian based company known as "A1 Agregator Limited" got busy making lookalike apps of games Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed and Cut The Rope. However, once the app was downloaded, installed and launched nothing would happen. Big fat nothing. However, in the background the app would send three SMS messages to premium numbers and land the users with a total £15 charge each launch of the app. The company has now been fined for such wrongdoing by the independent UK regulator PhonepayPlus to the sum of £50,000.
Google may have cut down waves of these types of apps but, it didn't stop roughly 1400 people being charged £27,850 in fraudulent fees in the UK alone. The openness of Google's Play Store is a double-edged working under a takedown of apps model rather than a strict – too strict, if you ask me – curation model for the iOS App Store. It's not difficult for these apps to get themselves into the Play Store, they often get taken down before any real damage is done – this case it was a little too late, obviously. With malware getting more and more sophisticated it'll be interesting to see what Google has in its arsenal ready and waiting.