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Fake Anti-virus Apps Spotted on Google Play Store: Report

These applications disguise as “security” or “antivirus” in their name and do nothing related to security

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Google, Play Store, UPI
Google Play Store in India currently supports credit cards, debit cards, net banking and carrier billing via Airtel and Vodafone, Google Play Gift Cards and Google Play Balance, and through other means like Google Rewards. Pixabay

Apps with names like Virus Cleaner and Antivirus security and which appear to be genuine anti-virus (AV) or virus-removal apps have been spotted on Google Play Store and have seen over a lakh downloads already, said a new report by Quick Heal Security Labs on Tuesday.

These AV apps mimic the functionalities of a real AV App and have functions like “scan device for viruses” and the main purpose of these apps is to show advertisements and increase the download count.

“These apps don’t have any AV engines or scan capabilities except a predefined list of Apps marked as malicious or clean. This list appears to be static and we haven’t seen it getting updated during our analysis,” the IT security firm said in a statement.

The fake AV app contains predefined package lists, like whiteList.json with few whitelist package names, blackListPackages.json with few blacklist package names and blackListActivities.json with a list of blacklisted activities.

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Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Pixabay

This list is used for actual scanning and to show final scan results. It also contains a list of predefined permissions and uses it to show risks associated with other apps.

It also checks installed package names against the pre-defined static whitelists.

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“These fake AV Apps don’t have any functionalities related to malware scanning or identifying any other security issues. These apps only show a fake virus detection alert to the user and eventually show advertisements,” the firm added.

These applications disguise as “security” or “antivirus” in their name and do nothing related to security. (IANS)

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TikTok Still Unavailable on Google, Apple App Stores: Report

TikTok refused to share anything more than what it had said on Wednesday

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

TikTok remained unavailable for download on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store on Thursday – a day after the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench lifted the ban on the short video-sharing app.

Sources in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that official communication to the technology companies would be made after it receives the court directive.

The IT ministry had earlier asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Madras HC’s call for ban on the app on April 3.

Deciding the case filed by advocate Muthukumar, the Madurai Bench on Wednesday vacated its interim order banning the app, subject to conditions that pornographic videos will not be uploaded on it, failing which contempt of court proceedings would begin.

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India.

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

A search for the app on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store on Thursday did not yield any result.

While Google and Apple refused to share any official statement, the companies would be able to reinstate the app only when they receive an official directive revoking the ban.

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TikTok refused to share anything more than what it had said on Wednesday.

“We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity,” TikTok had said. (IANS)