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Google Suspends ‘Updates for Samsung’ Scam App That Was Downloaded 10 Million Times

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Google has suspended a fraudulent mobile app on the Google Play Store called ‘Updates for Samsung’ for violating its policies that claimed to offer system-level Android updates to smartphones.

In a statement on Monday, Google said that “providing a safe and secure experience is a top priority and our Google Play developer policies strictly prohibit apps that are deceptive, malicious, or intended to abuse or misuse any network, device, or personal data. When violations are found, we take action”, The Verge reported.

In addition, the developer of the app in a statement to BleepingComputer claimed that it was pulling the app to “remove the firmware service portion and non Google payments”, although it said that the app was a “convenience to our audience”.

In an official communication, CSIS Security Group indicated that as many as 10 million users were tricked into downloading this app from the Google Play Store. When reported of last week, the Updates for Samsung app was still listed on Google Play. It has now been removed.

The CSIS report mentioned that the app offered a free download with restricted speed limits of 56KBps, which took around four hours to finish a download more than 500MB in size. CSIS’s report
Many users in their reviews on the Google Play listing mentioned that despite making payments, they weren’t able to download the firmware packages. Similar was the case with the CSIS Security Group team that wasn’t able to finish the downloads at the time of testing the app.

The app also claims to let users unlock their SIM cards for any operator by paying $19.99 (roughly Rs. 1,400). However, it handles the transaction for the SIM unlock service through an informal source – not via Google Play subscriptions.