Android users beware: Malicious apps posing as Temple Run and other games found in Google Play Store

Android mascot happy

Android users, watch out! There could be malicious apps in Google’s Play Store posing as some of your favorite games.

As a Redditor pointed out earlier today, an illegitimate developer account in the Google Play Store has been recently discovered. This account has been uploading phony apps that are complete rip-offs of other titles in the Android app store. Some of the more popular ones include an imitation version of Imangi’s Temple Run game and Glu Mobile.

The developer behind the operation, known as “apkdeveloper,” appears to be decompiling the APKs of these apps and injecting code that could be harmful. APK stands for Android Package, and it is the type of file used to distribute and install application software onto Google’s mobile operating system. After this alleged hacker inputs malicious code, he or she recompiles the APK and uploads the file to the store, posing as legitimate apps. Each of these apps as the word “super” tacked on to the end of its name. These illegitimate apps also have a lengthy list of device permissions in comparison to the actual apps, so be wary to avoid them.

For example, Imangi’s Temple Run only requests permission to access the device’s full network and to perform, read and write operations to storage. Temple Run Super, however, also asks for location information, phone status and identity, access to accounts on the device, and more.

Luckily many Android users can differentiate these phony apps from the real ones. According to Android news blog Phandroid, it doesn’t seem as if many users have downloaded these harmful apps. This means that little is known about what this code is actually capable of, but reports have indicated that it could add unwanted advertisements to various parts of your device. For example, these permissions could allow ads to pop up on a user’s home screen or notification bar. While this might not crash Android smartphones or tablets or erase a user’s data, it’s sure to be quite an annoyance.

It’s always important to be cautious and careful when downloading apps. Check the name of the developer and ensure that the app is coming from a legitimate source before installing it.

Mobile

Stalking apps: Google deletes 7 Android trackers from the Play Store

Google has removed from the Play Store seven stalking apps that could track someone's phone without them knowing about it. The sneaky software also offers access to a phone's contact list, as well as its SMS and call history.
Mobile

It's still worth boarding this fleet of old flagship phones if you want to save

Do you really need to blow your savings to get the latest smartphone, or is it worth looking at the top phones from yesteryear? We highlight some old flagships that are still worth buying and discuss new budget phones as an alternative.
Mobile

Unihertz's rugged phone with a keyboard launches July 30 on Kickstarter

Recently, only BlackBerry's phones have offered a physical keyboard. Not any more. Chinese manufacturer Unihertz is preparing to launch the Unihertz Titan -- a rugged phone with a built-in physical keyboard.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Mobile

St. Paul, Minnesota, is the latest U.S. city to access Verizon's 5G network

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. Its mobile 5G network is now available in select areas of several cities such as Chicago and Denver. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network.
Mobile

Renders suggest the Huawei Mate 30 Pro may have a special cinematic camera lens

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.
Mobile

T-Mobile wants to give you a free smartphone when you add a line

Did someone say free smartphones? T-Mobile is offering free smartphones from a select range of affordable phones when a new line is opened on its $40 per month per line Magenta tier and above.
Mobile

A.I. photo filters use neural networks to make photos look like Picassos

Artificial Intelligence apps put a novel spin on social network-style photo filters. Instead of just overlaying an effect, these photo filters use machine learning and neural networks to transform an image into a predetermined style.
Mobile

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.
Wearables

FCC filing reveals impressive specs for luxury Movado Connect 2.0 smartwatch

It's been a while since we saw a smartwatch from luxury watchmaker Movado, but that drought may be over soon. FCC filings for the Movado Connect 2.0 have surfaced, and they paint a picture of a high-spec smartwatch.
Mobile

Get your game on with the best controllers for Android smartphones

If you're looking to do some serious gaming on an Android device, you're going to need a gamepad. Here are the best controllers for Android games on smartphones and tablets, with rechargeable and wireless options.
Mobile

The best mobile collage apps, for when a single image or video just won't cut it

Today's collage apps combine images and videos into a crafted presentation complete with fonts, stickers, memes, and other elements that tells a story, instead of relying on a single iconic representation of a place or event.
Mobile

Here’s every Alexa Built-in phone that can access Amazon’s assistant on the move

If you've got your Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and Fire TV set up, you might want a phone that's just as tied into your Amazon-based A.I. network. Here's every Alexa Built-in smartphone you can buy from Amazon right now.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.