Govt should filter out fake mobile apps, say experts

Sunil Pradhan
Friday, 4 January 2019

“It is difficult for people to know the application is fake or genuine and the user can end up downloading a fake application which is risky. These applications are targeting innocent people and so the move by the government is a welcome one,” added Reddy

PUNE: With the rise in the use of Android operating system, there was a flood of large number of mobile applications entering the market which also led to lack of regulation of these applications. As these applications are not monitored, several of them have already caused lot of damage in the society. A basic search on any of the operating system platforms reveals a number of mobile applications on myriad subjects, which also confuses a digital consumer. 

While the move of the government is aiming at curbing child pornography and fake news flow on the Internet, cyber experts say the government should look at the grave issue at the macro level. Speaking about the drawbacks of mobile applications and the unregulated mobile application market, cyber expert Niranjan Reddy, who is also the founder of NetConclave Systems said there is a large number of fake mobile applications available in the market which can cause damage to people.

“It is difficult for people to know the application is fake or genuine and the user can end up downloading a fake application which is risky. These applications are targeting innocent people and so the move by the government is a welcome one,” added Reddy. He said there should be filtering of mobile applications based on stringent criteria. 

“People must always read reviews of the application before downloading it. There are dating applications which have scammed people. We are aware of the damage done by Blue Whale game and so it is necessary to keep an eye on the Internet so that we are safe,” added Reddy. 

Cyber experts say that mobile applications have caused monetary loss to people. Experts said several fake applications claiming to be of the government are present on the Internet. 

Cyber expert Anil Raj of Cybervault Securities Solutions Private Limited said, “Imagine a fake mobile application pretending to be of the government and accepting money from people. Similarly if a fake application of a bank is created, fraudsters can easily cheat people. This has happened. Moreover, many mobile wallets have been in the news when people have lost their money and so there is need for regulation.”

“Mobile applications can also have malicious codes which can damag-e your device, steal your information, phish important details and in this way fake mobile applications can cause heavy damage if not regulated. We have also come across incidents when a fake application has reflected disturbing elements on a user’s phone,” added Raj. 

About how to curb the rise of fake applications, Raj said the source code of these applications should be scanned before it is hosted for download. “Similarly there should be mechanism to distinguish between fake and genuine applications. Mobile applications involved in financial transactions should undergo strict regulation. Similarly content of educational applications should be checked,” added Raj.

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