Mobile & Gadgets

Fake Market Serves All-You-Can-Eat Android Malware

Third-party Android markets have traditionally been the main source of infection since the Android boom, as they are less strict than the genuine Play when it comes to bouncing malware. If alternative Android markets have a couple of potentially dangerous applications, today’s catch is an Android market that only serves malware.

Dressed up to perfectly imitate the genuine Google Play, this rogue repository offers no less than 55 distinct applications that are all infected with Android.Trojan.FakeInst.P, a piece of malware that incurs additional costs by sending short messages to premium-rate services.

Unless you’re proficient in Russian, chances are you’ll miss the disclaimer at the bottom of the page that claims the application may send between two and three messages to a multitude of premium-rate numbers. Even if the unwary user knew that, the final sum of money added to the bill is purely arbitrary: the mentioned premium-rate numbers charge between 2 and 10 Euros, or the converted value in the victim’s currency.


As Android devices are gaining ground, cyber-crooks envision new ways to trick users into installing risky applications. If you’re frequently downloading applications from third-party Markets or if you’d like to add an extra layer of protection for your device, we strongly advise that you install a mobile security solution.

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.


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  • Is there some sort of redirection trickery involved or does it rely on people being too stupid to realise the URL they surfed to isn’t actually the correct address for Google Play?!?

    • People might skip a beat on how genuine the website is , due to the fact that they recognize premium apps. that appear to be free on the website they are browsing to.

      So , ignorance combined with people being cheap skates end up costing them more than they would’ve paid for the app in the first place.

  • Who downloads from 3rd party markets?!

    Until today I didn’t even know such markets existed :)

    • Alternate markets provide alternate payment methods like PayPal, while Google only provides their own method, so quite a few people use them :)