Google Shuts Down Scam App Virus Shield

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Security is big business and Deviant Solutions, makers of Virus Shield, knows this. At the same time that Oscar Pistorius is sobbing his way through his testimony that he thought someone was in the house and that he was only defending his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he killed, thousands of people in the interest of protecting their Android phones were downloading a program that did absolutely nothing.

Thanks to reporting and discovery by Android Police, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has pulled the app that turned out to be a complete fake. While that may deserve a “good job Google,” it’s a little too late and certainly stands as an indictment of Google’s vetting process regarding its “open” Google Play store. While many believe that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) over-polices its iTunes Store, with good reason, its hard to imagine this one sneaking by even a cursory inspection.

Scam doesn’t affect battery life

The app description says that it “Prevents harmful apps from being installed on your device,” “scans apps, settings, files, and media in real time,” and “protects your personal information.” Oh, and it has a low impact on battery life, and has “No, ZERO pesky advertisements!” It also has ZERO functionality which explains the lack of battery drain.

That’s not necessarily true – tapping the app icon will change it from an “X” to a check mark after it has failed to scan your phone or tablet.

The importance of security

As Android Police says: “this is such a brazen and expensive fake that we felt the need to give it some special attention. It’s somewhat disheartening that an app so obviously fake could rise to the top, especially considering that it’s paid, and possibly hundreds or thousands of people have been defrauded already.”

There is little question that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would have preferred to pay Devious Solutions $40,000 to avoid what is certain to be a fair bit of bad publicity today.

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