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Google has made a concerted effort in recent months to try to eliminate bad apps for its Android mobile platform on the Google Play store—something the company historically has battled. However, fleeceware apps—which trick users into paying excessive amounts of money for simple apps with functionality that’s available free elsewhere—are still getting past Google’s radar in significant numbers, according to security researchers. These type of apps have been installed nearly 600 million times on 100 million plus devices, according to a Sophos report, which said it pulled the numbers from Google’s own Google Play marketplace. While researchers are skeptical the high installation numbers reported on Google Play are completely legitimate, they do believe that the download numbers of some of the apps–including a popular keyboard app that allegedly transmits the full text of whatever its users type back to China— are likely on the money. “As we saw last fall, there were a wide variety of entertainment or utility apps, including fortune tellers, instant messengers, video editors and beauty apps,” researchers wrote in a blog post published Tuesday. “And just like last time, user reviews reveal serious complaints about overcharging, and that many of these apps are substandard, and don’t work as expected.” “Free Trials” That Come With a Price Fleeceware appears to be so successful on the Google Play marketplace because it takes advantage of a business model used widely throughout the…

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