According to Symantec Japan's Official Blog, a fake and potentially dangerous version of the Google Play app market has been discovered. At a glance, the market looks identical to the real Google Play, but if you look closely, the first "o" in "Google" is actually a "c," spelling "Gcogle Play."
Once you notice it, the name certainly looks funny, but the bad stuff you find in Gcogle Play is nothing to laugh about.
Gcogle Play looks exactly like the real Google Play, but all of the apps available on it are malware (apps made for the purpose of doing bad stuff to your computer/phone).
If someone's never heard of this fake site, there's a very small likelihood they'd realize before it's too late. So just how does Gcogle Play swindle users into visiting?
Users are sent to the fake market through links in spam emails sent out by virus-infected phones and computers. Gcogle Play seems to be targeting Japanese users, and these spam mails have up until now been written in Japanese.
It seems like users in Japan are being fooled by official sounding and proper Japanese emails. Just goes to show that criminals are getting smarter and smarter nowadays, and you have to be extra careful with emails from people you don't know.
Unfortunately, it looks like this service is evolving day-by-day, and by some random series events, you may find yourself accidentally visiting Gcogle Play. What should you do if you find yourself there? How can you even tell if you're in the right place?
Luckily, Andronavi has some tips for figuring out whether you're dealing with Google or Gcogle. In summation, the three telling signs are that the fake Gcogle displays a URL at the top of the screen, it downloads files that end in .apk, and your phone will prompt you to install the program files after downloading, something the real Google Play skips.
It's a little old-fashioned, but these are the only ways to tell the real Google Play from the fake. And once Gcogle Play is shut down, you can be sure plenty of copycat fake sites will pop up in its place. Find out how to tell them apart to avoid getting tricked.
So it looks like the malware makers have gotten around cloning the entire Google Play market. Pretty scary. Everyone, please be safe out there with your smartphones.
Translation by Jason Morgan