Windows Store Plagued By More Than 100 ‘Fake’ Apps, Reports Claim


You may want to think twice before installing Twitter or Google Drive for Windows 8. New reports indicate that more than 100 deceptive apps posing as popular games and applications have been discovered in the Windows Store.

A handful of Windows Store certified apps, some of which cost upwards of $4.99, appear as well-known apps by tacking on the phrase “How to use” at the end of the title. The impostor apps were first discovered by Windows blog WinBeta by searching for the phrase “how to use.” In most cases, this phrase doesn’t appear in the app preview or overview, making it easy for publishers to scam unaware Windows users. A closer look at some of these apps reveals the sketchy names behind their publishers, such as Hot Girl, Angry Birds Pro and Facebook Pro among others.

MORE: Best Android Security Apps 2013

If you look closely at the phony Google Chrome screenshot above, you’ll notice that the publisher of the app is “Angry Birds Pro.” Even in the app overview, the full name of the application isn’t visible, making it look as if the app is called “Google Chrome Web Browser for Windows 8.” In addition to third-party apps, phony versions of Microsoft’s OneNote, Publisher and Word have also been discovered in the Windows Store. 

This isn’t the first time such a problem has weaseled its way into an app store, but it illustrates that this is an issue affecting multiple platforms. At the end of 2012, a slew of impostor Android apps were discovered in the Google Play store posing as apps such as “Temple Run” and “Glu Mobile.” Last year Apple booted a bunch of similar app rip-offs from its App Store as well, which included phony titles such as “Temple Jump” and “Tiny Birds.”

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and is currently investigating the issue, according to The Next Web.

“We are aware of the issue and are actively removing apps that offer little value or confuse customers, and will continue evaluating our submission process to make sure Windows offers the highest quality app catalog available,” Microsoft said in a statement to the website.

The discovery of these fake Windows 8 apps comes just after Microsoft announced its new security policy for store apps. Developers are now required fix security vulnerabilities in their apps within 180 days or risk getting pulled from the Windows Store. 

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options