People tend to moan about how restrictive Apple’s App Store is, but on the other end of the spectrum, the open nature of the Google Play Store for Android does sometimes land it in hot water. Case in point? One of the biggest app swindles ever has just been exposed. And it was all done by a bloke in his parents’ basement.
A French hacker has been found to have pilfered over £400,000 in funds from unsuspecting Android users over the course of just a year. Having just been arrested, the man in question has revealed his methods to the local authorities, and they’re pretty crafty to say the least.
Our Android antagonist has spent a year making fake versions of existing Android apps and shoving them into the Play Store loaded with a hidden string of code.
This code would make the installed app send a text message to a premium-rate number, which he would then take a cut of. We’re talking just slithers of pounds here, but when enough users fall into the trap, you end up with a lot of cash. Namely, more than £400,000.
The lesson to be learned? Always double check that the app you’re downloading is legit. And also, it’s not that hard to make a boat load of ill-gotten money from apps.