Google Play Exposes Minecraft Users to Attack

by Paul Davies, May 30, 2015

Saying you haven’t heard of Minecraft is a bit like saying you haven’t heard of Candy Crush. The craze has swept the nation, with people of all ages finding Steve is really the only friend they need in life. But thanks to some malicious predators that have penetrated the Google Play forum, it’s not just in the game that users are now finding themselves under attack.

Have You Been Plagued By Pop Ups?

The new scam starts with what looks like a simple cheats download on Google Play. Download the app and it promises to provide insights and accessories that make your user experience so much better. However, install this specific app and there is no functionality whatsoever. Instead, your device will start to produce pop-ups stating your software has been infected by a virus. And, you’ve guessed it, you have to pay to put it right.

But what’s so concerning with this fraud is that it sits on Google Play amongst so many genuine downloadable cheats. You don’t have to even hand over your credit card details to be defrauded. Simply agree to activate the subscription for the ‘in-depth protection’ and immediately your Google Play account is debited and you could be paying up to £177 per year for nothing.

It’s Time to Warn the Kids

The worst thing about this new virus is that it is usually children that are downloading these cheats. And therefore them that are exposed to this fraud.

When those pop-ups come, they can easily agree to this extortionate request without even realising what they are doing. All in fear of what might happen if they don’t. Furthermore, as the app comes from Google Play itself, you can’t even blame the child for downloading third-party apps. This is an issue that needs a far more permanent solution.

Protecting Against Google Play

Sadly, Google Play is not the safe shopping ground many online users think it is.

This marketplace has a long history of offering malicious software in the guise of reputable apps. And though the site are doing everything they can to improve the situation, this trend for online piracy shows no signs of fading.

Security research has suggested that this current application alone has been downloaded nearly 3 million times, offering an outstanding revenue opportunity for the hackers involved.

These people prey on the fact that so few users feel they need security software on their mobile devices. And until this changes, the potential for harm is not going to disappear.

Protect Your Mobiles

Mobile device fraud is now one of the fastest types of cybercrime. A fact that will only improve if users start taking action.

It is not enough to say your PC’s and servers are protected by high quality security solutions. Your mobiles are just as at risk. Choose a product such as Easy-Hide VPN to offer the same facilities to hide IP addresses to your mobiles as it does to your PC’s. And make sure you also install high quality anti-virus software on every device you have.

Thankfully, Google Play have now taken down this latest threat and are again using their expertise to uncover any other potentially malicious software. But you can bet that, until users start taking action to protect themselves, the next attack is just around the corner.

Just make sure the victim isn’t you.