15 Pretend GPS Apps Noticed on Google Play With Over 50 Million Downloads: ESET

NDTV Gadgets360.com

Google Play retailer is reportedly plagued with over 15 pretend GPS apps that use unfair techniques to point out advertisements to customers and become profitable unethically. These apps are positioned as navigation apps, however as soon as put in; these apps reportedly simply open Google Maps or use its API with none extra worth for the consumer, apart from displaying advertisements. These pretend apps have been reported to Google by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko a month in the past, however the tech large is but to take any motion.

Stefanko discovered these 15 pretend GPS apps over a month in the past on Google Play, and these apps collectively have gathered over 50,000,000 installs. The checklist contains GPS Route Finder, GPS Stay Avenue Maps, Maps GPS Navigation, and extra. The researcher claims that these apps serve no extra worth or use, however are solely riddled with advertisements. A few of these apps do not even have correct app icons, and are clearly pretend apps printed to make income by unfair means.

Stefanko says, “These apps faux to be full featured navigation apps, however all they will do is to create ineffective layer between Consumer and Google Maps app. They entice potential customers with pretend screenshots stolen from respectable Navigation apps. Goal of those apps is advert income (simple cash). They have no Navigation expertise or know-how, they solely misuse Google Maps. As soon as consumer clicks on Drive, Navigate, Route, My Location or different possibility, Google Maps app is opened.” The entire 15 apps may be seen within the picture under.

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Photograph Credit score: Twitter/ Lukas Stefanko

One of many apps even asks for cash to take away these advertisements, which implies that an unaware consumer is shelling up money for a service that’s free and is already pre-installed on his Android telephone – Google Maps. These apps additionally ask for permissions to entry contacts and messages, which may result in potential knowledge theft. Stefanko has reported these apps to Google over a month in the past, and whereas the tech large is quick to reply to such studies, these apps nonetheless exist in Google Play.

He additional factors out that the ‘Really helpful For You’ part within the Maps and Navigation class in Google Play offers ineffective apps extra precedence over legit apps like Tom Tom, Waze, or Sygic. Google’s lack of strict scanning strategies earlier than an app itemizing goes dwell, is without doubt one of the the reason why such apps exist and are capable of make cheat income. To prime it off, Google’s complacency in eradicating these apps is extra motive for critics to want iOS over Android. We hope the tech large takes motion quickly. Till then, we suggest you stick with Google Maps on your navigation wants.



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