Minecraft: Pocket Edition scammers have released an unofficial version of the app that can hack your phone and send costly premium-rate messages from your account.
PC Mag reports that web security firm F-Secure has issued a warning that the trojaned build of Minecraft: Pocket Edition is being sold for €2.50, while the official build is selling for €5.40. It originated on Russian app stores.
F-Secure explained that the bogus app includes the real Minecraft game, app , “but it has one added permission: android.permission.SEND_SMS and the payment system has been ‘enhanced.’” This means the app can send texts on your behalf to premium-rate numbers – such as charitable donation SMS services or competition lines – which hav the potential to rack up bills.
The security firm stressed that Mojang’s valid code does include measures to protect against this kind of activity, but that the perpetrators have skirted around them. “The original Minecraft includes a check inside the dex code that verifies the signature that has been used to sign the APK,” they explained. “If it’s not [Mojang's], the code refuses to run.”
However, the scammer version includes failsafes to bypass these measures.
Long story short: buy the more expensive version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, and be vigilant when making your purchase.