Fleeceware is an increasing threat to mobile device owners and security researchers have just discovered dozens of iOS and Android culprits…
Fleeceware is just one of several threats against digital consumers. Unfortunately, the two most popular app stores, Google Play and Apple App Store have become virtual minefields. These range from unloading annoying ads to outright stealing sensitive personal information. The former collect fraudulent ad revenue, while the latter steal straight from victims’ bank accounts. Another form, known as fleeceware, also steals from consumers by charging outrageous amounts of money.
Dozens of Android and iOS Fleeceware Apps have Stolen Over $400 Million from Mobile Device Owners
Security experts over at Avast have uncovered dozens of iOS and Android fleeceware apps. The malicious programs usually come with very enticing offers, such as free three-day trial periods. But, the apps provide very little benefit, generally things like weight loss help, even very mundane functions, like calculators. However, they cost way too much, ranging from $4 to $12 per week, which adds up to $208 to $624 per year.
Although, some are even more costly, with a few signing up unsuspecting consumers for subscriptions, costing thousands of dollars. “The purpose of these applications. is to draw users into a free trial to ‘test’ the app, after which they overcharge them through subscriptions which sometimes run as high as $3,432 per year. These applications generally have no unique functionality and are merely conduits for fleeceware scams.”