As we’ve observed countless times, there are both pluses and minuses to the way Google handles allowing apps onto Google Play. On the plus side, it’s insanely easy to get your app added. On the minus side, it’s insanely easy for scammers to get malicious apps onto the store as well. Now Android Police has found that it’s not just the app store that’s a haven for scams — it’s Google Play Books as well.
Essentially, Android Police discovered that Play Books is loaded with books that are billed as supposed “guides” for games that promise cracked Android application packages (APKs) but that actually deliver malware and phishing scams.
“After becoming aware of this problem, we spotted almost a dozen sellers of these phony ‘guides,’ but that’s probably just scratching the surface,” Android Police explains. “One of the most prolific is Monster Guides Editor Pro, but several of the others may be run by the same people due to the similarities in naming. There’s also Johnny Bravo, leon Master, and more. These publishers list several dozen games (and a few apps) for sale, usually at $0.99 -$3.00 each. Most of them are significantly cheaper than the legitimate paid versions.”
Android Police over the years has done a good job of alerting Google to malware and fake apps being offered on Google Play, though this is the first time we can recall seeing Google Play Books being flagged for malware as well.
To learn more about how these scams work and what to watch out for when browsing Google Play, read Android Police’s full report by clicking here.