Trend Micro report claims Google Play store loaded with fake apps

Trend Micro:

A survey of the top 50 free apps available for download in Google Play revealed that almost 80% of the samples had fake versions. These apps span a wide range of categories in Google Play, including Business, Media & Video, and Games.

Of roughly the top 10 apps in each category in Google Play, fake versions of the following were available:
• 100% of the apps categorized under Widgets, Media & Video, and Finance
• 90% of the apps categorized under Business, Music & Audio, and Weather
• Approximately 70% of the apps categorized under Games, Books and Reference, and Live Wallpapers

Typically, a fake version of an app is created by copying the .apk file and inserting code, with the possible goal of creating malware. While there are certainly knock-offs that have made their way onto Apple’s app store, there’s a review process to prevent this sort of malware factory.

  • Rob

    Last sentence of the report reads, “Using an effective security solution such as Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android Devices is also strongly advised.”


    A little bit like the insurance salesman highlighting the disasters that will befall your home unless you pay up.

    • Sigivald


      But the prevalence of fake apps (even if they’re “fake” in the sense of “pirated by the faker” rather than “complete trojans”) is pretty well-documented in general.

      • Rob

        No argument there. I simply find the message is muddled by the intent–to sell more apps (which, ironically, might also be faked).