They returned, but no one missed them. What are we talking about? Of the fleeceware apps, a particular type of applications capable of stealing from users even more than 200 euros with a single click . Sophos researchers have discovered 23 apps that deceive users and activate very expensive monthly subscriptions without their knowledge.
What are “fleeceware” apps
They do not install any kind of virus, no malware, no spyware that can spy on the user: in the eyes of any antivirus, fleeceware apps are absolutely legitimate. But they are not dangerous for this. And to make us understand it is precisely the term fleeceware, created specifically by Sophos researchers to categorize this type of app.
In English the verb “to fleece” means “to undress”, “to shear” or even “to peel”. And that’s exactly what fleeceware apps do : they “skin” users by stealing their money to activate monthly subscriptions at a very high cost. And they do it without the knowledge of the person, who is directly charged to the current account.
Fleeceware apps have evolved
In the first case, when a person opens one of these apps, he finds in the home a button that says “Try for free”. After pressing the button, the billing terms appear, but they do not make it clear that after the free trial period a paid subscription starts.
The second method, however, is even more subtle. Just download an app, subscribe to the service that seems to be free, to see activated a mass subscription to a series of connected services that the user does not even know exist. This way the scammers are able to maximize the profit, even if only for a month.
What are the 23 apps to delete immediately from the Android smartphone
Sophos has also published a list of 23 fleeceware app available on the Google Play store and that have not been eliminated. In addition to the name of the applications, they have also published the price of the monthly or weekly subscription and the revenue made from the apps with this ploy. Here’s the full list:
com.photoconverter.fileconverter.jpegconverter – $ 249.99 / € 224.99 / year – $ 8k
com.recoverydeleted.recoveryphoto.photobackup – $ 249.99 / € 224.99 / year- $ 60k
com.screenrecorder.gamerecorder.screenrecording – $ 249.99 / € 224.99 / year- $ 10k
com.photogridmixer.instagrid – $ 229.99 / € 219.99 / year – $ 5k
com.compressvideo.videoextractor – $ 229.99 / € 219.99 / year – $ 10k
com.smartsearch.imagessearch – $ 229.99 / € 219.99 / year – $ 30k
com.emmcs.wallpapper – $ 89.99 / week – $ 20k
com.wallpaper.work.application – $ 89.99 / week – $ 30k
com.gametris.wallpaper.application – $ 89.99 / week – $ 30k
com.tell.shortvideo – $ 89.99 / week – $ 10k
com.csxykk.fontmoji – $ 89.99 / week – $ 40k
com.video.magician – $ 89.99 / week – $ 30k
com.el2020xstar.xstar – $ 89.99 / week – $ 10k
com.dev.palmistryastrology – $ 69.99 / week – $ 5k
com.dev.furturescope – $ 69.99 / week – $ 90k
com.fortunemirror – $ 69.99 / week – $ 20k
com.itools.prankcallfreelite – $ 44.99 / year – $ 5k
com.isocial.fakechat – $ 45.99 / year – $ 5k
com.old.me – $ 94.99 / year – $ 5k
com.myreplica.celebritylikeme.pr – $ 12.99 / € 10.99 / week – $ 5k
com.nineteen.pokeradar – Pay per install
com.pokemongo.ivgocalculator – Buggy app
com.hy.gscanner – $ 79.99 / year – $ 5k
How to protect yourself from the fleeceware app
There is no tool or application that can protect you from this type of scam . The only thing is to report to the Google Play Store and the App Store the presence of this type of app when you encounter one so that it is immediately deleted.