Facebook has revealed figures that show that an astounding 185,000 iOS and Android apps have Facebook integration, driving downloads through Facebook’s sharing and recommendation functionality.

The figures revealed that 55 percent of the top 40 grossing iOS apps are connected to the social network. The company added that the platform drives more than 170 million app referrals to Apple’s App Store and Google Play each month as users interact with the activities of their friends on various apps.

The social network’s app centre, which is home to both mobile and web apps, has more than 22 million monthly active users.

When I got my Galaxy note, the best thing from moving on to Android was the availability of a huge load of apps.

But when I tried to update Temple Run, the uber cool game from Google Play store, I got the following error message

Package file not signed correctly..

sign error1 Google play has apps that are not signed correctly

This makes me think about the stringent app screening process at the Play store.

Malicious code anyone…???

If there is one thing our readers should avoid, it is getting their apps and games from unofficial sources (read as cracked, patched etc. etc.). We yesterday reported the popular Angry Birds loaded with malware being offered at some places other than Google Play Store. This time it is Instagram, the popular photo sharing app whose parents  have just been bought by Facebook for a whopping $1 Billion.

Sophos analyzed the app and found out the following

In our tests, the app didn’t do a very good job of emulating the genuine Instagram app, but that may be because it failed to find the correct network operator. Because this is a malicious app that seems to be relying in the sending of background SMS messages to earn its creators revenue.

Sophos products detect the malware as Andr/Boxer-F.

Also

Curiously, contained inside the .APK file is a random number of identical photos a man.

Maybe the reason why his picture is included multiple times is to change the fingerprint of the .APK in the hope that rudimentary anti-virus scanners might be fooled into not recognising the malicious package.

Easy cash from unsuspecting users who use popular apps is an age old trick, but always delivered promisingly functional.

Even if you have gone on the wrong side of the road, you should immediately uninstall the app and perform a thorough scan using a good antivirus. It is better not to have an app than to lose loads of money.

What do you think???

This is another good reason why we should not try to circumvent the official App Stores. The very popular game from Rovio – Angry Birds Space (I play it everyday…is neat and fun..!!) has been infected with Malware which makes your phone part of a botnet.

According to Sophos Security, which found the malware on the said game from an unofficial App Store,

The Trojan horse, which Sophos detects as Andr/KongFu-L, appears to be a fully-functional version of the popular smartphone game, but uses the GingerBreak exploit to gain root access to the device, and install malicious code.

The Trojan communicates with a remote website in an attempt to download and install further malware onto the compromised Android smartphone.

Interestingly, the malware hides its payload – in the form of two malicious ELF files – at the end of a JPG image file.

With the malware in place, cybercriminals can now send compromised Android devices instructions to download further code or push URLs to be displayed in the smartphone’s browser.

Effectively, your Android phone is now part of a botnet, under the control of malicious hackers.

The game downloaded from Google Play is safe as Google takes stringent measures to constantly monitor apps and game for suspicious behavior.

One more thing, If you like a game or an app – Buy it. The developers struggle hard to create games and apps that people like. They deserve your support to be in business.

Google Play, earlier known as Android Market, has some serious matter to take care of. According to a report published on Tech in Asia, 50 apps were surveyed from Chinese developers. The results were quite astounding

I then noted three things: which apps were given to people as ‘.apk’ files from the app homepage; which apps were available on the Play Store; and which developers actually guided consumers to the Play Store to get their apps:

Chinese apps Android Play Store 02 Every single Chinese developer bypassing Google Play

As you can see, then tendency is to distribute apps very directly, as occurred with all 50 of the surveyed apps. Only in eight out of 50 cases did the app homepage additionally encourage usage of the Play Store and linked to it as well. Generally, developers were more likely to guide users to local app stores instead (not indicated in the graph).

Now that is pretty serious. The more annoying fact is that the smaller developers had done the exact opposite on the iOS.

The reason for this is that Google Play doesn’t support paid apps in China and many overseas developers choose not to publish their apps to local consumers on it. The void has to be filled somehow. So developers have to resort to methods like this to generate revenue.

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