Beware Fake Kaspersky Antivirus Apps

Brandon Dimmel's picture

Kaspersky Lab, a Russia-based firm and one of the world's most renowned PC security companies, is warning all consumers to carefully research any antivirus application before downloading it to their computers or mobile devices. Kaspersky Lab says it recently discovered several fake antivirus apps on Google Play and the Windows Phone app stores.

Experts Warn: Kaspersky Mobile Not Legitimate

One of the fake apps is called Kaspersky Mobile, which claims to protect a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone and costs just $4 USD. The application uses Kaspersky's own logo and other branding elements in order to convince consumers that it's a legitimate Kaspersky product.

Kaspersky representative Roman Unuchek says that when he downloaded the application, the program appeared to scan files, but the scan itself was most likely dubious. Unuchek didn't say if Kaspersky Mobile was actually capable of finding and deleting viruses and malware.

Regardless, Unuchek says Kaspersky Mobile is not legitimate and insists that his company has never made an antivirus application by that name. In fact, Kaspersky has never built an antivirus application for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. (Source:

Kaspersky Virus Shield and Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 Also Fake

Kaspersky Mobile isn't the only fake antivirus application that can be found on Google Play and the Windows Phone store.

Researchers also found a suspicious app called Virus Shield, which claimed to protect Android mobile devices against malware and viruses. The app, which also costs just $4, had been downloaded an incredible 10,000 times -- suggesting that many users are far too trusting when it comes to downloading and installing apps, even if they come from a legitimate app store.

Kaspersky researchers also found a fake antivirus program called Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014. Just like Kaspersky Mobile, it has nothing to do with the Kaspersky company and is entirely bogus. Those behind the counterfeit programs merely copied the official description for a legitimate Kaspersky antivirus program (Kaspersky Internet Security for Android) in order to make the fake app sound genuine.

Fake Mobile App Antivirus Scams likely to Increase

Unuchek says scams like this won't disappear any time soon. He insists that consumers be more vigilant when researching and downloading security programs for their computers and mobile devices.

"It is quite possible that more and more of these fake apps will start appearing," Unuchek said. "One thing is for sure -- the mechanisms put in place by the official stores are clearly unable to combat scams like this." (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Have you ever been duped into downloading a counterfeit program on your PC or mobile device -- antivirus or not? If so, what was the result? Do you think Google, Microsoft, Apple, and other tech firms need to do a better job of screening and protecting their online stores against these kinds of threats? If so, what do you think needs to be done and would it be viable to implement on a large scale / open market?

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DavidFB's picture

I would ask if these have been pulled from the Stores. Even from an obvious copyright standpoint, they're not legitimate.

The stores as they stand now are supplier-driven and dependant on consumer feedback. Thats not a great way to ensure safety on your devices. I've seen top recommended products have really suspect user agreements, like requiring access to your location, phone records, etc. I suspect we'll see a backlash on this user info free-for-all.

The Apple store is much more stringent. The software equivalent of comment moderation.

No, I've not been duped. I understand the structure of URLs and can recognize fakery. I get my downloads mostly from vetted sources. I have occasionally landed on a fake web site though. Or a site that seemed legitimate that then auto-forwarded me to an illegitimate site.