Microsoft pulls 6 Fake Google apps from Windows Phone Store

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Microsoft has pulled six (6) fake Google apps from the Windows Phone Store, Monday morning.

This was done after the internet technology news website, The Next Web (TNW) called the attention of Microsoft last week regarding the fake applications.

According to TNW, the applications in question were first noticed by WinBeta which immediately published a blog post with regard to the said issue. Included in the fake apps are ?Hangouts,? ?Google Voice,? ?Google Search,? ?Google+,? ?Google Maps,? and ?Gmail ? email from Google? — none of which were published by Google.

WinBeta wrote, ?Google has released its official set of applications for both Android and iOS, but still has to make a solid footprint in the Windows Phone Store. They do have their search app listed in the app store, but other than that, there aren’t any other official apps available for Windows Phone users. Recently, some of the Google apps, including Hangouts, Google Maps, Google+, Google Search, and Google Voice, popped up in the Windows Phone Store. Before you get too excited, let me tell you one fact: they are FAKE.?

Moreover, WinBeta said that Google is not charging any amount for its apps. ?At first glimpse, it does feel like a wish come true, but it’s not. The so-called developer (Google, Inc) is charging $1.99 for every app, hoping to make some quick money before Google and Microsoft kick them out of the Windows Phone Store. One thing that we can be certain of is Google will not charge for its apps if they make their way to the Windows Phone Store. These services are FREE.?

Fake Apps and Windows Phone App Store’s Screening Process

At this moment, the only app that ?Google Inc? has for Windows Phone is the Search App until the six (6) fake apps appeared, was spotted and reported to ?Microsoft.

Now that these fake apps had been removed from the Windows Phone Store, the question is ?how did these fake apps pass the Windows Phone app store’s screening process and how will you know that the apps are fake??

First, the price. All Google’s apps for Android and iOS are free unlike those fake apps which cost $1.99 per download.

Second, the listed developer?s name. The legitimate Google Search app for Windows phone lists its developer as “Google Inc.” without the comma.

On the issue of how these apps were able to pass through the Windows Phone Store, Microsoft said in a statement released by TNW:

?Microsoft takes the intellectual property of our ecosystem seriously and we use several layers of deterrence and response to help protect it. First, we encourage developers to take advantage of obfuscation tools for an added layer of protection. Because the Windows Phone Store is the only authorized source of public apps and games for the Windows Phone, developers can more easily police infringement of their apps by monitoring the Windows Phone Store and notifying Microsoft if infringement occurs.

Microsoft provides online tools and an email alias (reportapp@microsoft.com) to enable developers to quickly report infringement of any apps they locate on the Windows Phone Store for immediate review and, when appropriate, removal. In cases where the infringement is disputed, we permit alleged infringers to dispute infringement via counter notices. Finally, Windows Phone educates every developer from the very start ? before apps are even submitted ? reminding them in our developer agreements and policies that Microsoft does not permit infringement of intellectual property of others.?

Moreover, it could be remembered that in a statement posted on August 29 last year by Microsoft at Windows? official blog entitled, “How Windows Phone guards against malware”, Michael Stroh wrote:

I?d take a minute to remind people of some of the steps we?ve taken to help protect the Windows Phone Store and its customers.

1. The Windows Phone Store is the exclusive consumer source of Windows Phone apps. This helps ensure the quality of the apps that show up in our Store, and on your phones.
2. Every app is tested and certified by Microsoft so you can feel confident when you download one from the Windows Phone Store. We review every app that developers submit for potential malware and performance issues.
3. No system is perfect, but if we discover a malicious app, we remove it.

As a result, malware hasn?t been much of an issue for Windows Phone customers. If you ever do suspect that an app is doing something it shouldn?t, report it to us at reportapp@microsoft.com and we?ll check it out.

 

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