Fake Plants vs Zombies and other Android games infiltrate Google Play store, make money for fraudsters

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Is Google doing a good enough job of policing apps in the official Android app store?

It seems not, judging by the number of bogus apps that continue to be made available for public download from Google Play, exploiting the name and reputation of legitimate games in an attempt to make money for fraudsters.

For instance, take a look (but I suggest you don’t install) the apps made available by an Android app developer called “abbaradon”:

There are some pretty well known games listed there, including “Plants vs Zombies” and “PES 2012” (Pro Evolution Soccer).

The real Android version of “Plants vs Zombies”, developed by Electronic Arts, costs a few dollars, and has had thousands of reviews.

However, Abbaradon’s version is free, and has some fine print tucked away at the end of its description in the Google Play store:

Plants vs. Zombies Free! Please leave only positive feedback. If you have any support questions – please send us email. This is a Amazing puzzle…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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