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Info-stealing app downloaded 500,000 times before being removed

Japanese government: ‘Don’t use Google Play’

Japan is warning its Android users to avoid Google Play and download their apps from third party operator-run stores instead.

The warning comes after a prolific info-stealing app was discovered on Google’s official Play site.

Tokyo’s Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) alerted Android users last week of an app named ‘sexy porn model wallpaper’, which had already been downloaded 500,000 times from Google Play before it was removed.

The app requests user permission to access location details, email address and terminal information, which it then sends over to a third part server while distracting you with sexy girls.

The government-backed body has now warned users off Google Play and is urging them to visit app stores run by mobile operators such as KDDI’s ‘au Smart Path’, Docomo’s ‘D Market’ and ‘Softbank’s ‘Yahoo! Market’. “In these markets, operators carry their own checks of the app,” said IPA.

This is not great news for Google, who recently responded to previous security criticism by launching an app verification service for its Play store.

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