Kaspersky Lab finds more fake apps in Windows Phone Store, including "Virus Shield"

In March, Microsoft removed a number of fake apps from its Windows Phone Store that were made to make people think they were created by Google. Now the security firm Kaspersky Lab has discovered even more fake apps have been published in the store, all uploaded by the same person or group, including another version of the now infamous "Virus Shield".

In a blog post, the firm said they first discovered the apps when they found a "Kaspersky Mobile" listing in the Russian version of the Windows Phone Store. The company does not offer any products with that name. The blog added:

However, the scammers seem to show a bit more knowledge about software developers and their name-dropping wasn’t limited to Kaspersky Lab. The fake AV creators uploaded numerous other types of paid apps to Windows Phone Store that used the names and logos of several popular programs.

In addition to posting a number of fake Google apps, this group also got Microsoft to publish their version of "Virus Shield", the now infamous Android "antivirus" software that was the number one paid app on Google Play before being exposed as a scam.

The firm also noted that another fraudulent app with the Kaspersky name got published on Google Play this week. It added, "It is quite possible that more and more of these fake apps will start appearing. One thing is for sure – the mechanisms put in place by the official stores are clearly unable to combat scams like this." Neowin has contacted Microsoft to see if they wish to comment about this new rash of fake apps in the Windows Phone Store.

Source: Kaspersky Lab | Image via Kaspersky Lab

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Which just goes to show that no platform is infallible, and at the end of the day, a gullible user is STILL going to install My_Hot_Pic.app and not read a single thing until their phone stops working!

Well if it's a Metro app, and it can't pop up a bunch of Windows that you can't close, and it can't do anything from inside the sandbox like capture passwords and hold your computer for ransom, who cares. Right click and uninstall, sure beats the hell out of the alternatives that take a freaking masters degree to surgically remove from the registry. Or am I missing something here. Are these apps somehow more damaging than that?

It's not about being malicious, it's about fake apps charging money. Uninstall all you want, but you're not getting your money back unless MS refunds you out of their own pocket.

Kapersky is becoming like a malware/virus. Geesh.. since Windows 8 came out, all they do is complaining complaining complaining. I'm tired of them

European stores are just as bad. Lately there's only clones and fake apps. Very few original ones (there still are plenty)
But 3000 happy birds, 20 happy towers, 500 times the same frigging slot machine....
And looking for Virus or AntiVirus, gives me a few dozen fake AV apps. Claiming to be true AV's. (not counting the games listing with Virus).

The state of the WP8 store is absolutely horrible. Numbers may matter, but atm it looks like the WP8 store is the absolute emperor of junkapps

well Microsoft still got money from stupid WP users that actually download that stuff, even with MS refund it later, the inflation will make it worthwhile for Microsoft.

stupid WP users... so an app specifically designed to trick users makes them stupid. Also its good for Microsoft for some reason.

Are you Baghdad Bob?

Most of the apps in the store are fake apps.

I cant believe the stuff I had to jump thru to publish legit ones and then I see these ones that are blatant rip-offs and crapware clones, etc.

They really need to get a handle on things in the Store.

What's even worse about the iOS store is that there are no comments shown so we can't know if the app is good or bad based on comments. On android you at least see comments saying that's fake, crap etc when people see they're scammed which I and other users can read.

Don't wanna start a flamewar but I just don't understand why the appstore does not show comments on their website.

Seahorsepip said,
What's even worse about the iOS store is that there are no comments shown so we can't know if the app is good or bad based on comments.

You cannot buy apps from the web front. Through the MAS and iTMS front ends, comments, reviews, are shown.

Rosyna said,

You cannot buy apps from the web front. Through the MAS and iTMS front ends, comments, reviews, are shown.


Ah so it's like that... My bad didn't knew though the website could still use comments.

I'm not surprised, dealing with hundreds of thousands of programs will cause something to slip through.. near impossible to get them all I would think. What I am surprised about is that it's the same f'ing one from Android that got a lot of users, never mind press. Seriously?

Human error granted, still "Virus Shield" operating in plain sight after the press Google Play got over it is verging on FAILBOAT.

j2006 said,
It didn't change. The issue is whoever tested/approved them, obviously didn't do so properly.

Then I hope the MS employee who signed off on them is terminated. Not only for not doing their job but causing MS bad press. I wouldn't hesitate to terminate an employee for that.

Those scammers are pretty stupid for continuously using the same name. It's only a matter of time before they get banned from the Store. :-)

This is also why I wish they add an "OFFICIAL" app badge or at least a "VERIFIED" developer badge to let users know it's not a third-party.

j2006 said,
Those scammers are pretty stupid for continuously using the same name. It's only a matter of time before they get banned from the Store. :-)

This is also why I wish they add an "OFFICIAL" app badge or at least a "VERIFIED" developer badge to let users know it's not a third-party.


unless you mean something separated from the app tile, like additional info metadata it could be easily faked.

Impossible. WP has checks in place to prevent these kind of things.

Anyway, glad they caught the apps and just goes to show this can happen anytime, anywhere.

techbeck said,
Impossible. WP has checks in place to prevent these kind of things.

As do all the other app stores. So, your point is?

Point is that lots here think certain stores are immune to things like this and think the WP approval is bullet proof. Which isnt the case.

techbeck said,
Point is that lots here think certain stores are immune to things like this and think the WP approval is bullet proof. Which isnt the case.

They do need to clean up the store a bit.

techbeck said,
Point is that lots here think certain stores are immune to things like this and think the WP approval is bullet proof. Which isnt the case.
IIRC, it's malware what lots here talk about. There's a difference.

There was a big stink by many here when Virus Shield and other fake apps were found on the Play store. Those are not malware, just fake apps. And regardless if it is malware or a fake app, it is the approval process that is the problem.