Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jan 2010 23:38 UTC
Google Ah, and there we have it: another chapter in the discussion between open and closed when it comes to application stores. A phishing application, masquerading as a banking application from First Tech Credit Union, made its way onto the Android Market. It was removed quickly, but the damage is done.
Thread beginning with comment 403829
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

For my part, I view this as further proof that the "App Market" model, whether "open" or closed is fundamentally flawed. It creates problems for developers, by forcing them to dance to the tune of some gatekeeper, and severing the direct interaction between software users and software creators, at the same time it gives users a false sense of safety by giving apps sold through such markets a veneer of legitimacy. With traditional computer software, coming from a multiplicity of sources, users have learned to think critically about whether a piece of software might be trustworthy or not (e.g. in the case of a banking client, is this coming from the bank's website or not?), but in the case of these App Stores, all software is poured into one giant soup, associated with a credible source (Apple or Google) with the wave of a magic wand, and then consumers are left to fend for themselves.

Personally, I consider "App Stores" to be a huge step backwards the the distribution of software. Hopefully they'll prove to be an aberration in the long run.


So one phishing app ended up on Google's market.
Yeah it's a great shame, I feel for the users and perhaps means Google might have to review their policy on accepting banking (and other related) apps.
However it's hardly worse than expecting users to search the net looking for these apps themselves.

You state that users have learned to think critically - well I'd argue they haven't:
* people still reply to those stupid scam e-mails ("I am a [insert minority nation] prince...", "You have one the Mars colony lottery...", etc)
* people still use Limewire and Bit-torrent to download software,
* and some people still don't even run virus scanners!

And those that aren't stupid enough to do any of the above (but still aren't computer literate like us) still have to differentiate between fake web sites and real ones (where fake sites pretend to be authentic and offer apps to download but said apps contain spyware)

The internet is a bog of scams and malware.
So sometimes it takes a technical eye to tell the difference between 'safe' and 'spyware' when you're after popular software.

So stating that millions of users are better off completely out on their own because one app slips through on Google's market is a touch unfair.

Sure this will be embarissing for Google and a PITA for their customers - but hopefully Google will learn from this and move on.

Reply Parent Score: 5

ivaniclixx Member since:
2008-07-14

A "virus scanner" is, IMHO, one of the best example of what a virus is: It makes your computer run slower, with more stupid questions about opening/doing everything, and still doesn't guarantee anything.

So, no, I don't run a virus scanner on my XP.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

A "virus scanner" is, IMHO, one of the best example of what a virus is: It makes your computer run slower, with more stupid questions about opening/doing everything, and still doesn't guarantee anything.

So, no, I don't run a virus scanner on my XP.


Then I'd suggest that you were perhaps running the wrong virus scanner previously.


<pedantic>
Also, virus scanners aren't self replicating, so a most they're trojens rather than viruses.
</pedantic>

Reply Parent Score: 2