As Football World Cup 2014 is all set to begin in Brazil, its fever grips fans all across the globe. Most Football fans like watching games live, while some enjoy it on the television and there are many who also like playing the same game on their smartphones.
As games might be the most popular thing on Smartphones today,Google Play Store provides an open platform to all the gaming applications, be it legitimate or malicious. In this gaming season, it has been found that some fake soccer gaming apps are flooding in the Google Play store. Google is no doubt making progress in terms of security aspects, but cybercriminals are moving even faster.
Govind Rammurthy, MD & CEO, eScan revealed that an app called Corner Kick World Cup 2014, which is less than 1 MB in size, was available in the Google Play store. The problem with this app was that it showed a series of ads and provided no game to play. It displayed nothing but just a white screen. The game is made by a developer called VinoSports. After research, it was found that rest of the apps by VinoSports that were offered on Google Play were all the same – just blank applications filled with advertisements.
Similarly, there are many other mobile gaming apps that request for access to the data that has nothing to do with the app’s functioning such as access to contacts, location, call logs, access to storage device and to other accounts on the phone. Why does a gaming app need to access call logs and contacts?
When a user unknowingly downloads a malicious or fake app created by the hacker onto his/her smartphone, it helps these hackers to steal their banking credentials, access their call logs and phonebook, send SMSs, change their security configuration, and start any activity which does not require user’s permission.
Hence, it is extremely important to be vigilant before downloading any app.
eScan suggests few tips to the smartphone users that will help them to stay safe and enjoy their computing experience to the fullest.
1. Ensure that your Android device is protected with a reliable antivirus software that secures it against evolving internet threats.
2. Protect your phone with Passwords.
3. Before installing any gaming app or live streaming app during tournament time,conduct a background check on various forums via search engines to understand the problems faced by the users of that app and then act judiciously.
4. Do through research about the reputability of the company that is selling the app.
5. Always check the details of the web site developer to ensure they have a legitimate mobile gaming app available.
6. Do not install mobile apps before understanding the ‘Access Rights’ required by it.
7. Finally, only install applications (apps) from trusted sources. Never download apps from unauthorized or illegitimate apps stores.
As there are many fake apps available in the Play Store, Google has started their ‘Bouncer’ service to help police the Google Play Store, and this has ultimately cut down the number of fake/malicious apps, but this does not mean that all of the fake apps will get vanished.