The problem of Fleeceware applications and their consequences in everyday life
Recently, computer security experts conducted a study on the impact of surveillance applications commonly referred to as Fleeceware.
The result is clear, these applications can cost victims enormously and financially.
This article will also interest you: Computer security: 25 apps removed from PlayStore by Google
It's not uncommon for these kinds of applications to make headlines. However the people most affected, users, by this kind of software are usually misinformed or not at all about the problem. It is with this in mind that studies are regularly conducted by cybersecurity experts. This is more the case for cybersecurity firm Sophos and its experts.
It is the specialists of the cybersecurity company Sophos have recently published the result of their studies that there is still the Google PlayStore, many more applications whose usefulness for these publishers is to deceive users, and this at the expense even of the policies and rules imposed by Google in its official store. According to experts, there are still 23 other applications that have been discovered.
It is known that during the month of June, the American giant had updated its rules and development policies regarding the new guidelines in order to be able to remedy certain shortcomings. Despite this, Sophos' IT security specialists have noted that many applications continue to deviate from these new rules. That's why they encouraged users to get rid of their smartphones as soon as possible.
"The new rules published by Google are designed to remedy some forms of misleading advertising, but they also have loopholes that allow for other behaviors that some might consider unscrupulous," said security researcher Jagadeesh Chandraiah in a blog post on the issue.
According to this expert's explanation, some software publishers tend to use a technique called "blind subscription," which is mostly careful to explain the app's user billing details. And this usually applies to spam subscriptions, which, as the Sophos specialist explains, acts as a "rabbit hole". More simply, once users sign up, they automatically subscribe to several other applications without even being aware. This means that these latter spend thousands of euros in "Fleeceware" applications, without him noticing for a long time, which are often linked to each other.
Google describes the practice by meaning that these kinds of offers tend to rely on free trials, users that they will automatically be billed at the end of the trial "Publishers are no longer allowed to do so, but some are still trying," Chandraiah explained.
For the 23 applications discovered by the cybersecurity company's problem researchers, here's the list:
Now access an unlimited number of passwords: