Several apps claiming to be from Apple, Inc. were pulled from the Google Play store on Saturday almost immediately after they were given temporary approval. The apps includes the names of popular Mac OS titles including iWork and iLife.
According to Google, the apps were designed as “lightly-disguised scams” that were pulled only hours after they were uploaded.
While Google has not revealed why the apps were uploaded, they are typically found to carry malware and other forms of intrusive data gathering.
The Google Play Store allows apps to be almost immediately uploaded with almost no wait time; this approval system or lack thereof has led to an increasing headache for Google. In comparison, it can often take seven to 10 days for Apple to approve apps for its iOS App Store.
Analysts believe that upwards of hundreds, possibly thousands, of apps have been discovered to be carrying viruses, trojans, botware, phishing, scams, and other various forms of malware. In summer 2012, security firm BT found that one-third of Google Play apps contain some form of malware.
In most cases, malware on Google Play apps has focused on gathering a user’s information and passing it along to third-parties.
Google recently installed malware-checks to slow the spread of mobile viruses, but some experts say it is easy to spoof, as was the case with Saturday’s fake app upload.
App downloads were limited for the fake programs on Saturday since the scammers were smart enough to charge for the programs to tease their legitimacy. The cost? Nearly half the price of actual Apple, Inc. apps.