Android Users Should Avoid These GTA 5 Apps

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Android Users Should Avoid These GTA 5 Apps

iFruit - Main

Two malicious Grand Theft Auto V apps have surfaced on the Android Marketplace.

Just before the launch of Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar released a mobile app called iFruit, which allows players to feed their GTA addiction on the go. Currently, the application is only available for iOS, but that hasn't stopped two suspicious versions from showing up on the Android Marketplace.

The first is called Grand Theft Auto: iFruit, and, according to the app's description, it's an "un-official 100% fan-guide including tips and tricks." However, several users are reporting that it simply displays a YouTube video, and others are claiming that it's a form of aggressive malware.

The second, called iFruit GTA Grand Theft Auto, is almost certainly malicious. The user reviews are thoroughly negative, and many have reported warnings from their virus applications.

Both apps have co-opted the logo that Rockstar used for the official version of iFruit, so they can be difficult to spot. Hopefully, potential users will check the comments before downloading, but people will continue to be affected until the apps are removed.

This morning Grand Theft Auto V became the fastest selling title in videogame history, raking in over $1 billion within its first three days. So, the fact that other companies are already trying to siphon a little of that success is unsurprising. However, Android users should probably wait until Rockstar makes an official announcement regarding an Android edition of iFruit.

Surfing the Android Market has become a dangerous game.

Source: Destructoid, Google Play

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I'll have finished the game before the real Android one comes out. Not cool.

The weird thing is, there are easily a larger number of Android phone users vs the number of iPhone users. Only releasing your app for that one platform more than halves your potential customer base. Even if they're free apps that's a lot of free marketing you're missing out on.

The logo looks like one of those multiple-image optical illusions. Is it a bowl of fruit, a really happy face, or boobs?

Alcom1:
The logo looks like one of those multiple-image optical illusions. Is it a bowl of fruit, a really happy face, or boobs?

Considering what game it's from, it's likely supposed to be a penis.

So apparently sticking in a few safeguards into the marketplace is too hard for whoever runs the Android marketplace. You'd have thought something as simple as "See if it has a virus in it" or "does it instantly crash on boot" wouldn't be beyond them.

Infernal Lawyer:
So apparently sticking in a few safeguards into the marketplace is too hard for whoever runs the Android marketplace. You'd have thought something as simple as "See if it has a virus in it" or "does it instantly crash on boot" wouldn't be beyond them.

Going by what the top post said, it's malware. Which means it's not being what it's advertised to do, that doesn't mean it's a virus. Malware could be a program that doesn't harm your PC but has a key logger in it, a virus is made to harm your PC (Like a fork bomb). There is a big difference. Also if it was a real virus Google would have updated Bouncer to kick apps like it pretty quickly (It's happened before).

Genocidicles:

Alcom1:
The logo looks like one of those multiple-image optical illusions. Is it a bowl of fruit, a really happy face, or boobs?

Considering what game it's from, it's likely supposed to be a penis.

Huh, I wonder for what Freudian reason I did not think of that.

BoredRolePlayer:

Infernal Lawyer:
So apparently sticking in a few safeguards into the marketplace is too hard for whoever runs the Android marketplace. You'd have thought something as simple as "See if it has a virus in it" or "does it instantly crash on boot" wouldn't be beyond them.

Going by what the top post said, it's malware. Which means it's not being what it's advertised to do, that doesn't mean it's a virus. Malware could be a program that doesn't harm your PC but has a key logger in it, a virus is made to harm your PC (Like a fork bomb). There is a big difference. Also if it was a real virus Google would have updated Bouncer to kick apps like it pretty quickly (It's happened before).

True, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be in there (which goes without saying) and that there's readily available technology designed to check for that kind of thing. If it's true that you can slip that kind of thing onto a program that's being sold on the Android Market, well, I just found myself a new get rich quick scheme /sarcasm.

Infernal Lawyer:

True, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be in there (which goes without saying) and that there's readily available technology designed to check for that kind of thing. If it's true that you can slip that kind of thing onto a program that's being sold on the Android Market, well, I just found myself a new get rich quick scheme /sarcasm.

What shouldn't be in there?

A youtube video?

Ads that show up on your notification bar?

Those are all legitimate things to have.

Houseman:

Infernal Lawyer:

True, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be in there (which goes without saying) and that there's readily available technology designed to check for that kind of thing. If it's true that you can slip that kind of thing onto a program that's being sold on the Android Market, well, I just found myself a new get rich quick scheme /sarcasm.

What shouldn't be in there?

A youtube video?

Ads that show up on your notification bar?

Those are all legitimate things to have.

Unless you missed the 'aggressive malware' part, I suggest you use the /sarcasm tag in future.

Seriously though, $267 million spent in production and they couldn't fund a port for the app for Android? I was pretty bothered by this. Were they paid off by Apple or something?

Cheeseman Muncher:
The weird thing is, there are easily a larger number of Android phone users vs the number of iPhone users. Only releasing your app for that one platform more than halves your potential customer base. Even if they're free apps that's a lot of free marketing you're missing out on.

Yeah, I really, really, really hate this trend of releasing shit on the Apple store and not Android. more people in my friend base have a Android device rather than an Apple. Like you saidtheres at least as much Android users as there are Apple users, if not more. It's just bad business sense to just release an app on one rather than both.

Infernal Lawyer:

BoredRolePlayer:

Infernal Lawyer:
So apparently sticking in a few safeguards into the marketplace is too hard for whoever runs the Android marketplace. You'd have thought something as simple as "See if it has a virus in it" or "does it instantly crash on boot" wouldn't be beyond them.

Going by what the top post said, it's malware. Which means it's not being what it's advertised to do, that doesn't mean it's a virus. Malware could be a program that doesn't harm your PC but has a key logger in it, a virus is made to harm your PC (Like a fork bomb). There is a big difference. Also if it was a real virus Google would have updated Bouncer to kick apps like it pretty quickly (It's happened before).

True, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be in there (which goes without saying) and that there's readily available technology designed to check for that kind of thing. If it's true that you can slip that kind of thing onto a program that's being sold on the Android Market, well, I just found myself a new get rich quick scheme /sarcasm.

Someone already did the ultimate rich quick scheme I'm afraid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Rich

You know, as hard as it is to get apps onto the Apple store, I'm surprised that android allows stuff like this.

Grand Theft Auto V became the fastest selling title in videogame history, raking in over $1 billion within its first three days.

What I gathered from this is that Activision is going to jump into the GTA market space with an annual, open world release, and EA is going to do a piss poor job following suit.

Infernal Lawyer:

Unless you missed the 'aggressive malware' part, I suggest you use the /sarcasm tag in future.

Define "aggressive malware" as it relates to android devices. As an android developer, I'm not so sure you know what you're talking about.

Houseman:

Infernal Lawyer:

Unless you missed the 'aggressive malware' part, I suggest you use the /sarcasm tag in future.

Define "aggressive malware" as it relates to android devices. As an android developer, I'm not so sure you know what you're talking about.

I think they've confused adware with malware. Either way you don't want the crap on your mobile device since it's not really made by R*.

Doesn't really matter the iOS version is crap anyways. Since day one of the game's release there's been connection issues, I've only managed to get it to connect successfully a handful of times. Though it really doesn't affect the game as the dog Chop hasn't done much since the first quarter of the game.

Houseman:

Infernal Lawyer:

Unless you missed the 'aggressive malware' part, I suggest you use the /sarcasm tag in future.

Define "aggressive malware" as it relates to android devices. As an android developer, I'm not so sure you know what you're talking about.

*throws up hands in frustration* Really? No, I don't have an android, but is saying 'aggressive malware is a bad thing' REALLY that wrong?

many have reported warnings from their virus applications.

I'm genuinely curious now as to why I shouldn't be scoffing at the Android market for not picking this up when any average Android can.

Or are we just nitpicking over semantics here? Would you accept it if we called it a virus or something else instead?

Genocidicles:

Alcom1:
The logo looks like one of those multiple-image optical illusions. Is it a bowl of fruit, a really happy face, or boobs?

Considering what game it's from, it's likely supposed to be a penis.

Dammit. That's all I see now.

Houseman:

What shouldn't be in there?

A youtube video?

Ads that show up on your notification bar?

Those are all legitimate things to have.

But using Rockstar's trademarked logo and product names is against the law and should not be allowed, whether the app is malicious or not.

Cheeseman Muncher:
The weird thing is, there are easily a larger number of Android phone users vs the number of iPhone users. Only releasing your app for that one platform more than halves your potential customer base. Even if they're free apps that's a lot of free marketing you're missing out on.

A lot of phones running Android are cheap feature phones, and the users don't tend to use apps as much as iOS users do. So, going by the raw installed base is not the best measure to use. It's kind of like with the Wii - there are more Wiis out there, but not as many third-party games are made for it, because Wii users don;t tend to buy games as much as PS3 or Xbox users.

The other thing is that the developers may have had more experience with iOS than Android development - and being that there are fewer different types of iOS devices, there are fewer complications, compared to developing for the number of vastly different hardware models in the Android world. This is not an uncommon thing - in fact it's typical for apps to be released on iOS before Android. For many of these reasons, especially for paid or premium apps, for which iOS has a much bigger market.

Josh Engen:
Android Marketplace

It hasn't been the Android Marketplace for 2 years now, it's now the Google Play Store. If you're to have any credibility when attempting to slam a mobile store, at least get the name right.

Secondly, the person to blame for this is the user. Before install, every app has to have permissions reviewed and okay'd explicitly by the user. Not being suspicious why a GTA 5 app would want to see everything and the kitchen sink on your phone is nobodies fault but your own.

The Play Store is an open place, like the Android OS is. That makes it susceptible to malware making its way on there. That's why Android has in it multiple things like "don't allow apps from unkown sources", built in malware scanner to Android, a number of AV apps, and the permissions system. They are all tools to help you protect yourself from this sort of stuff. If you don't use those tools wisely, there's no one to blame but yourself.

Aardvaarkman:
-snip-

That initial statement is entirely dependent on the market. It's true in emergent markets. But in established western markets, most Android phones are high to mid range smart phones.

Speaking as someone who has done Android development:

The issue of fragmentation is just as prevalent on iDevices as it is on Android, it just comes in a different form. Android has a built in framework designed for compatibility, and all phones need to go through a framework compatibility check before they are licensed to be called a real "Android device", as opposed to a device that simply uses the Android OS.

I have no experience in iOS development, but have spoken to professional iOS developers:

iOS is actually more difficult to develop for, since the XCode framework and iOS API's are relatively difficult to work with. Couple that with the fact that you're basically expected to retain backwards compatibility to, at least, the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, and you have yourself a fragmentation issue as bad as Android to get around. XCode has almost nothing in the way of compatibility libraries like Android has. Simply being able to update most devices to iOS 7 is one thing, but the feature loss the older you get in device terms is another, until it gets to the point where you may as well not have bothered.

The only reason why people often make apps for iOS first is not from an issue of ease of development, but because iOS is still ahead of Android in terms of people willing to spend money on apps (though that gap is closing, due to a larger amount of high end smart phones running Android coming out and enticing previous iOS users).

Infernal Lawyer:
I'm genuinely curious now as to why I shouldn't be scoffing at the Android market for not picking this up when any average Android can.

Or are we just nitpicking over semantics here? Would you accept it if we called it a virus or something else instead?

It's impossible to scoff at the Android Marketplace, since it no longer exists.

Just so you know, Google handle the Play Store administration. Their primary goal is for it to be an open store, where anybody can submit apps to, unlike iOS which is heavily curated by Apple to allow apps that only suit them.

That openness creates susceptibility for crap like this getting on. Google's Bouncer program, a server side AV checker is still not fully implemented, and they must tread lightly with it anyway, unless they too heavily get involved in curating their open system.

Like I said above, Google has provided in Android a set of tools, including the permissions system, for the user to identify stuff like this. If a game guide app is asking to see your contacts and SMS messages, you might not want to install it. If you do, then you've only yourself to blame when all your contacts start getting odd text messages that are charging you 1.50 a time.

Infernal Lawyer:

*throws up hands in frustration* Really? No, I don't have an android, but is saying 'aggressive malware is a bad thing' REALLY that wrong?

It is not.

But nobody here is convinced that this app really has "aggressive malware".

I took issue with your claim that Android just allows "aggressive malware" to be placed upon your system without any sort
of checks or balances.

And end the end, you weren't able to demonstrate that such a thing is true.

many have reported warnings from their virus applications.

I'm genuinely curious now as to why I shouldn't be scoffing at the Android market for not picking this up when any average Android can.

Anti-virus applications don't JUST protect against viruses. They also report adware. So yes, if these apps contain aggressive advertisements, the anti-virus applications will tell you about it.

The android market doesn't block aggressive advertisements, because most of the time it's just normal functionality overwritten to link back to an ad.

Or are we just nitpicking over semantics here? Would you accept it if we called it a virus or something else instead?

No I wouldn't accept it if we called it a virus, unless I was shown proof that it was a virus.

Call it adware.

Aardvaarkman:

But using Rockstar's trademarked logo and product names is against the law and should not be allowed, whether the app is malicious or not.

Correct.

I hope you weren't expecting Google to look up every single app icon they get to see if it infringes on somebody else's copyright.

This can be handled like Youtube handles copywritten things, with a DMCA report.

Houseman:
I hope you weren't expecting Google to look up every single app icon they get to see if it infringes on somebody else's copyright.

They certainly should be. They are offering a service where they distribute applications. It should be up to them to check that the applications that they are offering are legitimate. Just as any website owner has a duty to ascertain whether its content is non-infringing.

After all, if you run a restaurant, it's up to you to not serve customers poisonous or disease-ridden food. The restaurant doesn't get a free pass by saying that it's up to the customer to report their death before they remove the dangerous food. The restaurant gets shut down if they do that.

It seems to me that Google just wants all of the benefits and profit, but with none of the responsibility.

Aardvaarkman:

They certainly should be.

That's an unrealistic expectation.

They'd have to have a database full of copyrighted app icons, then whenever a new app is submitted, they'd have to check the icon against everything in the database.

They have a system for removing content after it's submitted. Somebody complains, files a DMCA, and it's removed, just as it is on Youtube.

Or you also get mad at Youtube whenever someone uploads a video with a misleading title, or copyrighted content?

The Google Play store is a self-service system, just like Youtube. If bad things are uploaded, they are removed whenever somebody reports them.

This is the sacrifice that allows an open marketplace, unlike the iTunes store.

Griffolion:

Secondly, the person to blame for this is the user. Before install, every app has to have permissions reviewed and okay'd explicitly by the user. Not being suspicious why a GTA 5 app would want to see everything and the kitchen sink on your phone is nobodies fault but your own.

To be honest, the permision reviewing is kinda crap for androids. the way androids work is sometimes you need very vierd services to acess some simple things. when installing a game asks you for a clock permission only to find out it wants to know the time of the day (something that it doesnt tell you) its really annoying. half the permissions from programs i use i dont even know what for. and letsn ot forget "need acess to maps to use your GPS" crap.
The whole android system of permissions need a desperate rework and secondly there needs to be a way for the program creator (i refuse to call them apps! app is a cracking program meant to hack into regular programs and use them illegaly, but phone market seems to have taken over this name now) to explain the permissions. you should be able to add comment to every permission that would show up when the user is asked to review permissions.
ALso user should be able to pick and choose. for example i would like to install a certain program but does not give it acess to my GPS. the program woudl work fine without it, i dont want this particular boscure function it uses it for. but no, i must take it all or none. from a user perspective this is bullshit.
I love android, but theres A LOT that can be done better.

P.S. i think it should have kept the android marketplace name. at least that one told you what it is. google play store sounds something like store that sells games made by google. but google keeps renaming its products all the time i noticed. like the recent talk rename.

Aardvaarkman:

They certainly should be. They are offering a service where they distribute applications. It should be up to them to check that the applications that they are offering are legitimate. Just as any website owner has a duty to ascertain whether its content is non-infringing.

By this logic, Escapist should run now and crosscheck my avatar with every copyright on earth in vain hopes that it will find somone using exact same picture. how many new users escapist gets a day? 100? more? they would need hundreds of people to do this.

lots of bad reviews on the official app as well because it resets all the time and doesn't let you log in.

Houseman:

Aardvaarkman:

They certainly should be.

That's an unrealistic expectation.

They'd have to have a database full of copyrighted app icons, then whenever a new app is submitted, they'd have to check the icon against everything in the database.

No, they wouldn't. All they'd have to do is contact the company submitting the content, and check whether it is the legitimate company submitting the app.

They have a system for removing content after it's submitted. Somebody complains, files a DMCA, and it's removed, just as it is on Youtube.

Except the Youtube model doesn't work. It isn't effective in protecting copyright, and it isn't effective in protecting Fair Use.

Or you also get mad at Youtube whenever someone uploads a video with a misleading title, or copyrighted content?

Well, I don;t get "mad," but Youtube shouldn't be hosting a lot of the content that it does. It's one of the worst sites on the internet when it comes to ethics and quality.

The Google Play store is a self-service system, just like Youtube. If bad things are uploaded, they are removed whenever somebody reports them.

Except for the fact that they aren't.

This is the sacrifice that allows an open marketplace, unlike the iTunes store.

I'd prefer a legal marketplace over some dodgy "open" marketplace. What exactly do you mean by "open"?

Would you be happy if your local farmer's market sold you carrots laced with cyanide? Wouldn't want to impede the "open" market, after all. Who cares if you're not getting what's advertised, as long as it's open, right?

Strazdas:
By this logic, Escapist should run now and crosscheck my avatar with every copyright on earth in vain hopes that it will find somone using exact same picture. how many new users escapist gets a day? 100? more? they would need hundreds of people to do this.

If they need so many employees that it is uneconomical to run a legal business, then maybe they should not run the business in the first place?

After all, running an illegal drug manufacturing business entails quite a few expenses and risks. You need manufacturers, you need smugglers, you need enforcers. So, by that logic, we should abolish all drug laws, because it makes it more difficult to run a drug cartel?

And that doesn't just apply to illegal activity. Many perfectly legal businesses are required to comply with laws and regulations that require hundreds of of employees to manage. I'm not sure when "requiring hundreds of employees" to enforce became an excuse to break the law.

Aardvaarkman:

No, they wouldn't. All they'd have to do is contact the company submitting the content, and check whether it is the legitimate company submitting the app.

This would be against the ideals of an open marketplace, and would be even MORE expensive than collecting a database of app icons.

How would a company prove that they are "the legitimate company submitting the app".

Google: "Hey, I see you're trying to submit this app, iFruit? Do you own iFruit and all related properties?"
Dev: "Yes"
Google:"Are you sure?"
Dev: "...Yes?"
Google: "Okay, thanks."

Oh wait. They have that. It's called a ToS.

You're just making stuff up. Please stop coming up with unrealistic solutions that you know nothing about.

Except the Youtube model doesn't work.

So why do you expect the Google app store to work any differently?

This is what happens when you have an open, anyone-can-contribute marketplace.

The Escapist isn't screening your posts for copyrighted material is it? If you plagiarize from something Will Smith wrote, you aren't going to get banned are you? If you post a copyrighted picture of a cat, you're aren't going to get banned before it even uploads to the site are you?

Is it perfect?

No.

Is anyone saying that it is?

No.

Is it unreasonable to expect perfection?

YES.

Maybe if you become a senior software engineer, you can tell us all about your realistic, cost-effective plans for fixing all of the problems inherent in an open, user-generated-content marketplace.

Until then, nice try SOPA lobbyist. You'd better leave the Escapist because it works just like Youtube and just like the Google Play store. I bet someone is posting copyrighted material on this VERY SITE right now! Better abandon ship, lest you be guilty of association with these illegal activities

Except for the fact that they aren't.

Oh, let me just link you to this porn video I saw on youtube yesterday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_nzMlnLP6s

What, it's not there anymore?

Huh, I guess that whole "it's a FACT that things aren't taken down if they abuse the ToS" is false.

I'd prefer a legal marketplace over some dodgy "open" marketplace. What exactly do you mean by "open"?

Nice try, SOPA lobbyist.

Aardvaarkman:

If they need so many employees that it is uneconomical to run a legal business, then maybe they should not run the business in the first place?

You're implying that the Google Play store is illegal, you know that right?

It isn't, you know that right?

You're calling the Google Play store illegal and comparing it to a drug cartel.

Trolling and making valid points aren't mutually exclusive, but you're not making any valid points here, so I wonder what you could be doing?

Aardvaarkman:

No, they wouldn't. All they'd have to do is contact the company submitting the content, and check whether it is the legitimate company submitting the app.

I can write a program in an afternoon and post it on Google Play Store and i have never had a "legitimate company".

I'd prefer a legal marketplace over some dodgy "open" marketplace. What exactly do you mean by "open"?

I'd prefer a legal dictatorship over some dodgy "open" democracy. i guess we both wont get what we want.
Open means that anyone can publish, opposite to apple alternative where you can publish only if they like it.

If they need so many employees that it is uneconomical to run a legal business, then maybe they should not run the business in the first place?

Well, i guess we should shut down the internet then.

The benefits of such business far outweigh the shotcomings.

After all, running an illegal drug manufacturing business entails quite a few expenses and risks. You need manufacturers, you need smugglers, you need enforcers. So, by that logic, we should abolish all drug laws, because it makes it more difficult to run a drug cartel?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

And that doesn't just apply to illegal activity. Many perfectly legal businesses are required to comply with laws and regulations that require hundreds of of employees to manage. I'm not sure when "requiring hundreds of employees" to enforce became an excuse to break the law.

And the benefit of such requirements outweigh the costs. however in the case of crosschecking every logo/avatar submitted it does not.
Law in theory at least should be a set of rules most beneficial to the state, not some abitrary order that everyone must obey no matter the cost. If the law creates more problems than it solves, it is a bad law and should be abolished.

Strazdas:
I can write a program in an afternoon and post it on Google Play Store and i have never had a "legitimate company".

And that's a serious problem for Android and the Google Play store. And it's one of the main reason it's riddled with malware, fake and fraudulent applications.

I'd prefer a legal dictatorship over some dodgy "open" democracy. i guess we both wont get what we want.

Strawman. Laws and rules don't imply a dictatorship.

Law in theory at least should be a set of rules most beneficial to the state, not some abitrary order that everyone must obey no matter the cost. If the law creates more problems than it solves, it is a bad law and should be abolished.

Indeed. But trademark law is not bad law. It doesn't create more problems than it solves. In fact, it's very helpful because it helps people determine that they are actually buying the product they want to buy, and not a knock-off. If it wasn't enforced, there would be dozens of companies selling, for example, cars with the BMW trademark, that are not made to BMW specifications.

Trademark is one of the better laws out there. And it's certainly a lot better than copyright law, which has become rather degraded.

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