Millions of users tricked into Installing Fake Samsung Firmware Update App
By Chaitra V M
We live in an era of technology, where we pretty much depend on everything on the devices. With upgrading technology, every day different companies try to introduce new products to make them stand out in front of competitors.
However, there are many smartphone companies but the most popular is Samsung. People love Samsung devices for its user-friendly interface and unique features including touch screen, good quality camera, etc. Samsung tries to ease up their customers by providing a friendly and easy to use interface. Along with that, the core focus of Samsung is to provide a unique device that makes their firm stand out in the crowd of different competitors.
Although Samsung usually brings software updates of its device in built-in settings, some people find it difficult to operate according to their version of devices. Reports have emerged regarding a fake app named “Samsung update app”, recently. This app pretends to bring firmware updates for its users.
Millions of Samsung users were massively misguided by an “updates” app which actually has nothing to do with Samsung. The app tried to yield money in exchange for security updates.
The app was spotted by a group of researchers on the Google Play Store which was targeting Android users and basically the ones with Samsung phones.
The malware app was named “Updates for Samsung” and was installed by more than 10 million users, as per the report shared by the malware analyst who discovered the application.
The fake application lured users in by claiming to make available free and paid Samsung updates whereas Samsung never actually charges for its legitimate firmware updates.
In addition, the report cites that the app suggested the users a free download for a limited speed of 56KBps and took around 4 hours to get the 500MB download done with it, only to time-out at the end and fail.
The app presents users with an ad-infested website where they can choose to download Samsung firmware updates for free, or to purchase an annual subscription for $34.99. Users who choose the free option will hardly be able to install a single update as their download speeds will be incredibly low and downloads often fail altogether. The aim of this is to get users to opt for the premium subscription instead, despite the fact that Samsung offers updates for free. Users who choose the premium option are asked to enter their credit card information since the app doesn’t make use of the official Google Play subscriptions API. In addition, the app presents users with numerous adds, and may even cause devices to malfunction.
In the list of all the “amazing provisions” of the aforementioned app, another was SIM card unlocking for any network operator with the starting price of $19.99. (Rs. 1,371.73)
The name of the fake app which was maliciously designed to target the users of Samsung pretty well kept up to the expectations of the cyber-cons and got millions of installations.
Not malware, but fraudulent and a scam:
All in all, the app is not malware in the traditional meaning of the word, as it does not perform any malicious actions on the user’s behalf, or without his consent. The better words for its mode of operation are “fraudulent,” “scam,” or “adware.”
Fake apps like these can not only misguide you to get your money but they can also put your privacy at risk by collecting your private information. The information can be leaked to third parties and used for illegal purposes. These bogus apps can also insert different viruses in your phone and can affect it permanently. Google needs to step up its policies of the Play Store to clear out these kinds of spams and scams as fast as possible, to help make the lives of its users more safe and secured.