Google Pulls Fake BBM For Android App After 100,000 Downloads


Google has pulled a fake BlackBerry Messenger app from Google Play after it was downloaded by over 100,000 users who thought it was the real thing. The app was called “blackberry messenger bbm,” and it was created by a developer called “RIM.” But all it did was install icons, bookmarks, and more from advertising network StartApp.

The fake app would have been glaringly obvious to some; the lack of capital letters in its name is the first giveaway, while the name “RIM” is another — Research in Motion is now called just BlackBerry, of course, and it’s been that way since January when the Canadian company launched BlackBerry 10.

But to thousands of others, it wasn’t so obvious. CNET reports that over 100,000 people downloaded the app before Google pulled it.

After installation, users opened the app to find nothing more than a screen promising the real BBM app on June 27. But in the background, “the app followed up with an agreement to allow advertising network StartApp to install icons, bookmarks and more on your phone,” according to CNET.

BlackBerry has announced BlackBerry Messenger for both Android and iOS, and the company has said that the app will be here this summer. But it’s not here yet, and until we see official confirmation from BlackBerry, you shouldn’t attempt to install apps that claim to be BBM.

A similar issue surfaced earlier this month when it became apparent that malicious websites were advertising BBM beta releases to lure visitors in. There’s clearly a lot of demand for BlackBerry’s popular messaging app on other platforms, and unfortunately, some people are clearly taking advantage of that.