RuFraud threat, 22 Free Apps were removed by Google

Google has removed 22 applications in the Android market last week from a threat of RuFraud, a threat that charges European users for text messages.

Users were charged to send and receive a text messages believing that their free apps were free. Lookout Mobile had informed Google about the said problem about the apps that aren’t working as they’ve promised but harmless at all.

“To continue, click below” was the only button after launching the downloaded free wallpaper art, horoscope readings or free popular games by the user. Since it is the only button has a user to click, some users impatiently click the button to proceed to a vague terms of service agreement just to use their downloaded apps.
Derek Halliday, a senior security product manager of Lookout Mobile warned the users that these apps have vague terms of service that when the button was clicked, this gives an access to your phone to text messages of your charge for every SMS. “We’ve seen this family of premium estimates fraud apps over the last couple of weeks, in a few different waves,” said Derek Halliday.

After the annoying horoscope was removed by Google, another promising free app was released within Android Market giving a free Wallpaper Theme. For now, the most popular deceiving free app was Angry Birds (Free).

Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, France and Germany are countries that were affected while USA weren’t, since the app reads first the sim card to determine the location of the user but phone networks in US block the codes that were used by this app to send messages.

This kind of scam focuses in Eastern Europe and it started to hit Western Europe explained by Derek Halliday.

Google was originally warned by Lookout Mobile from these 9 applications that were a threat from the users and even Google itself.
“A few versions will be published every few days or so…I can’t tell the future, but we’re going to be paying really close attention to it as it develops.” Derek Halliday said.

However, this threat was monitored by the Lookout Mobile and gives assurance to the users to be secured from these scams.

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