One of the malware containing games was the popular Angry Birds
Some Android users thought that they were buying legitimate versions of games like Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed and Cut the Rope from third party Android app stores. In fact, they were buying fake apps that actually contained malware
that would charge the unsuspecting victims £15 ($23 approximately) everytime one of the apps was opened
. This was achieved by having the user's infected phone send three premium £5 texts each time one of the bogus apps were opened. And we hate to say this, but the malware even cleverly covered up its tracks by removing the sent/received notification that would have appeared on the user's phone. That meant that the first time the user would know something was up was when he opened his phone bill. Talk about bill shock! The fake apps contained malware known as RU Fraud and were downloaded 14,000 times. Regulators said that 1,391 mobile numbers were affected.
The scam was not limited to U.K. Android users as it covered 18 countries. U.K. regulator PhonepayPlus fined A1 Agregator £50,000 ($78,000 approximately) and ordered the company to make refunds to all victims within three months, even those that did not complain
. The company is now banned from operating any kind of premium rate service in the U.K. with out permission from PhonepayPlus. The good news is that the regulators acted so quickly that none of the £27,850 collected had reached the criminals' vault.
"We will continue to clamp down on those who wish to take advantage of UK smartphone customers.We are very pleased that the tribunal ordered that everyone affected will get their money back and that a string fine was imposed. The digital economy is vital to the UK's future and we will continue to take action to maintain the confidence of the public."-Patrick Guthnrie, Phonepay Plus' Director of Strategy and Communications