The United States government has put its big foot down on three websites that it claims offered illegal downloads of Android-based apps. The websites in question, applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com, have all been shut down by the Department of Justice.
In a press release on the DOJ website, the government said that FBI agents, " ... downloaded thousands of copies" of Android apps from those three websites. It added that the apps were made available " ... without permission from the software developers who would otherwise sell copies of the apps on legitimate online markets for a fee."
Most of the servers for all three sites were located outside the US, but the DOJ said it worked with the governments in those countries to seize the evidence found on those servers. It added, "Nine search warrants were also executed in six different districts across the country today as part of the operation."
This is the first time that the US government has shut down websites that it claims provided downloads of pirated software made specifically for smartphones. Of course, getting Android apps via Google's official store, Google Play, can also be risky. Last month, the company removed an app from the store after it was revealed to be a malware application, but this is the exception, not the rule.