Google consolidated their store fronts for books, movies, Android Apps, and even hardware into Google Play. What got left out in the cold is the Chrome Web Store, where you can install apps and games for the Google Chrome browser. Along with being left out, the Chrome Web Store also seems to get little attention from the company. Searching the Chrome Web Store, which has had prominent TV commercials and promoted an Angry Birds app, the store does not have Rovio’s latest title Bad Piggies. Instead, a number of scam apps fill the search results using the exact same name.
The 1-star reviews are helpful hints and the author byline lists different developers than Rovio Mobile LTD.
The Sophos Naked Security blog covered the issue earlier this month, writing how many of these apps show popup ads and apps the monitor your web browsing. Many of the 1-star reviews from unfortunate victims concur that problems only stem from these apps.
Is there blame for the situation? Just because Rovio has decided to not put Bad Piggies in the Chrome Web Store does not mean they’re to blame. Google needs to take control of the store and do more to vouch for the apps that they’re distributing, especially when an app is claiming to be something it is not and installing adware and spyware. Other places like Google Play and Amazon’s Android App Store have the legitimate app as the top-ranking search result and maybe a guide/walkthrough or two also in the search results. Only the Chrome Web Store is being overwhelmed by fake, malicious apps.
Google, either bring Chrome Web Store into the Play fold or abandon it. Don’t let it become a cess pool for bad apps that you seem to be vouching for and provide an easy path into infecting your browser.