Leading members of three piracy groups that target Android, Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket, have been arrested for illegally distributing Android mobile apps, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
â€œAs a result of their criminal efforts to make money by ripping off the hard work and creativity of high-tech innovators, the defendants are charged with illegally distributing copyrighted apps,â€ said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.
Three members of the SnappzMarket group are accused of selling more than 1 million copies of copyrighted Android mobile apps between May 2011 and August 2012. Using the SnappzMarket alternative online market, they sold apps worth $1.7 million without the permission of their owners.
Through its own marketplace, the Appbucket group sold more than 1 million copies of Android apps from August 2010 to August 2012, with a total value of over $700,000. In the same two-year period, Applanet sold over 4 million copies of pirated Android apps, worth over $17 million.
Those involved are accused of criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit cyber-crime, as well as of illegally hosting servers to supporting the sites distributing of the fake copies.
Users are advised not to buy or use cracked apps as they can be repackaged and injected with malicious code which can hide keyloggers and other software designed to steal their credentials or sensitive banking information. An efficient mobile security solution analyses potentially malicious apps and blocks them before harming usersâ€™ privacy.