Dozens of Android apps pulled over premium SMS scam

Fake free versions of popular commercial games can ring up hefty charges for the unwary.
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Google has pulled 27 applications from the Android Marketplace following the discovery that the apps contained premium SMS toll fraud malware.

Mobile security outfit Lookout described a new SMS toll fraud scam dubbed RuFraud, first appearing as a range of horoscope apps which aimed to hide mention of premium rate charges deeply inside a ToS statement with no option to exit.

Later a number of other applications appeared including wallpaper apps and fake popular apps such as Angry Birds. 13 in total were uploaded overnight, each masquerading as free versions of popular games and garnering 14,000 downloads, Lookout said.

Following the reports Google quickly moved to pull the apps from the Market. If anything the latest episode illustrates how important it is to take note of the permissions requested when installing a new app. A horoscope app requesting SMS access should be enough to raise suspicion.

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