22 SMS Toll Fraud Apps Removed From Market


Google’s done some more malware cleaning lately. The latest infection to the market was pegged ReFraud and consisted of 22 apps which consisted of code that would send text messages from your phone to premium SMS services unbeknownst to the user. Of course, these apps are disguised as run-of-the-mill everyday apps such as wallpapers, horoscopes and fraudulent games.

No worries, though, as Lookout has already notified Google and Google has already removed them from the market. Lookout urges users to update their Mobile Security application to get the latest malware and virus definitions to make sure you’re not downloading any of these apps. [Android Guys]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. HOLY CRAP! 

  2. Lookout sucks and it’s not needed.

    1. Agreed. Such a scam. This bothers me a bit, i really like this writer but i find it hard to believe Google every used or needed lookout.

    2. lol, but I must respectfully disagree. just remember…  the masses are asses

  3. All it takes is to be smart about what you’re installing. Why is that so hard to grasp for some folks?

    1. Some folks are kids that see a cool, free wallpaper. Some folks are tech-illiterate, but enjoy playing with their new smartphone. Sure, it’s easy for us to see an SMS privilege on a wallpaper and call foul, but not everyone has that step ingrained in them.

      1. hehe this reminds me of the South Park Apple episode where Jobs says something like “Hey, you agreed, you agreed”
        and Butters says “wait, you didn’t read the terms of service?”

    2. the average person just automatically think it’s safe like the Apple App Store since it’s in Google Android Market. Of course….for tech geeks like us…nothing is close to being safe.

    3. The average person is an imbecile.

  4. Q, wouldn’t it be beneficial to list out the names of the 22 apps in question so people could check to see if they have any of those apps installed?

    1. Google removes them from phones when this happens.

    2. They get remote kill switched.  POOF!  BAZINGA!  GONZO!

  5. A wallpaper requesting sms privileges… LOOKS LEGIT!!!! :P

  6. Breaking News: Verizon is currently in negotiations with the makers of all 22 apps to see how many they can get preinstalled on their next line of phones. Extra points if it’s a Nexus.

    Leaked Verizon policy flowchart:

    1. Get exclusivity on a great phone that everyone wants
    2. Do everything in your power to make the phone worse
    3. Looking good, now delay the hell out it
    4. Point and laugh at the silly customers getting upset
    5. Screw them a little bit harder
    6. Release the phone
    7. Profit

    1. Did VERIZON hurt you?

      1. No but they did save a bunch of money by switching to Geico for their auto insurance.


    While Apple has been criticized for its heavy-handed control over the iPhone and iPod touch apps allowed into its online App Store, there has yet to be a major malware outbreak affecting its users. With so little control over Android apps, it seems like serious problems for Google customers cannot be too far away.”
    Haha welcome to Googles idea of open.
    Where a company like Lookout has to inform Google of malware instead of Google minding their own store.
    Apparently the 30% they make off the market isn’t going to securing the market.

    1. What’s your point being? It’s open. We all know. I’d rather it stays open so we can have apps that ios users can only dream of. If your a dumb user that fails to see a wallpaper app asking for sms permission then you shouldn’t have the privilege to use android. Plus point is that you actually see what permission an app uses unlike the apps from Apple app store

    2. you are one big apple cockbucker..lame and a loser

  8. I would like to see a “Google Approved” flag on apps. so that people would know that these apps had to go through Apple screening and are a safe bet that they do what they say they are supposed to do. The difference is that there can be 30+ fart apps and multiple dialer apps that are all approved. Oh I would also be fine if rooting apps or apps that require SU arn’t approved.

    with this “Google Approved” flag I can tell my tech illiterate friends to NEVER INSTALL AN APP THAT DOESN’T HAVE THE FLAG!!!

    Sorta like a Android Security for IDIOT!

  9. wish Google would post the names of these turds online.

  10. LBE privacy guard if in doubt deny permission. :)

  11. The article neglected to mention that all the apps target European phones only and the list is up on CNET.

  12. God Android is a bug riddled insecure piece of shit

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