The Information Technology Promotion Agency has alerted Japan’s Android smartphone and tablet users to avoid a malicious app called “sexy porn model wallpaper,” and to avoid using Google’s official Android app store Play altogether.
The app in question has already been downloaded half a million times from Play before being removed, and was caught scraping users’ contact details and sending them to a remote server.
The IPA has suggested that Japan’s Android community may be better off finding apps via alternate sources, like its own national carriers’ stores, because those operators check the apps for content and fitness before allowing them in.
Google’s Play store has faced much criticism like this, thanks to its very open nature. Apple‘s iTunes uses an alternative gated community principle, which has seemingly led to significantly fewer malicious apps reaching the public.
Apple’s apps have recently been criticized for sending more user data to third parties than Google’s, but the store does have more developer checks and balances in place.