Some of the most popular Google mobile apps including Hangouts, Google Maps, Google+, Google Search and Google Voice have been seen recently in the Windows Phone Store retailing at the not-so-bargain price of $1.99, as announced by Windows on winbeta.org.
The site says the applications are fake. In the Android and iOS mobile markets, these services are free of charge. Moreover, the developerâ€™s name is misspelled: the valid applications are signed Google Inc, while the new versions are published by Google, Inc.
Designed to empty usersâ€™ wallets, fake applications can pose serious security and privacy risks by secretly tracking the userâ€™s location, leaking email addresses or phone logs to third-parties. Whatâ€™s more, developers can manipulate an Android appâ€™s SDK to implement rogue features to intercept text messages or execute man-in-the-middle attacks.
The apps have been taken down from the Windows Phone Store.
“We removed a series of apps for violating our policies concerning the use of misleading information,â€ a Microsoft spokesperson said. “The apps attempted to misrepresent the identity of the publisher.”