23
Jun
bbmfake

This morning we were alerted to a possible Blackberry Messenger sighting in the Play Store, but upon closer inspection, it was immediately obvious that this app is beyond fake. The problem is it already has 100,000+ installs, it's been sitting in the Play Store since Friday, and Google hasn't done anything to remove the listing yet.

Update 6/23/13 4:25pm PT: The fake app has been taken down.

Distractions

I can see three big problems that are currently distracting unsuspecting users and making them ignore any other possible warning signs:

  1. The developer's name is RIM, which looks pretty damn official. There's a good number of users who probably haven't even heard the news of RIM getting renamed to Blackberry in January, so the thought of something as official-looking as RIM being fake doesn't even cross their minds.
  2. Once one opens the app, they're presented with a screen that says it's coming June 27th. "Oh, all we have to do is wait for it to spring to life in a few days," say innocent users everywhere who then go and rate it 5 stars. Why? Because logic, that's why. "And it hasn't done anything bad, might as well cheer for it while we wait."
  3. The 100k+ install base inspires confidence: "If so many people have already installed BBM, and Google hasn't removed it, the app must be real."

image image 1

Warning signs

Now for all the warning signs that so many users ignored:

  1. The company name is Blackberry, not RIM. Seeing RIM 5 months after it was renamed should have raised a red flag.
  2. Multiple 1-star reviews calling out the app's legitimacy have been upvoted and floated to the top. Only to be ignored by many. Granted these reviews possibly weren't there yet when the majority of installs occurred.
  3. The app asks you to wait for 4 days. What official app would launch and then display a screen like that and do nothing else?
  4. The program's package name, also known as pname, is uber suspicious: com.ura.uraap. The official BBM app will more than likely be something like bbm.blackberry and not some random ura.
  5. Blackberry said June 27th wasn't even an accurate launch date.
  6. There are only two screenshots, which is the minimum the Play Store allows, and the second is the same as the first. There's no way any self-respecting company would have let something like this happen.
  7. And finally - the StartApp screen that masks itself as the BBM License Agreement. This is why you read before you hit Accept, folks. StartApp is the annoying advertising network that adds icons to your homescreen, bookmarks to your browser, and changes the browser's homepage to whatever it wants:

bbmfu

You know what to do.

Thanks to Sergio Ramos for the original tip.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

    BlackBerry Messenger would probably have a native UI as well...

  • Sven Joy

    I noticed that it's fake when i saw the screenshots. They look way too good for something Blackberry would make...

  • Phil Oakley

    You guys really are Android Police. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • S. Ali

      You mean Reddit Police considering 99% of AP's content is taken directly from post on reddit.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Sigh. Go away already, troll.

      • Anthony Restaino

        And what's wrong with browsing Reddit to find news?

      • Mike Goff

        And yet you are here reading the post. Troll...

      • jonathan3579

        Why are you here, dick? If you have a problem with their articles then do us all the favor and go run your mouth elsewhere. It just so happens that the majority of users come here because we enjoy their articles.

      • tbonefsg

        Who the fuck reads reddit? You like reddit so much then go back there

  • Rohan Bathla

    moreover RIM official play store account already exists:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Research+In+Motion%C2%AE

    so its fake!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      As if we had any doubt it's fake already. :-]

      But having two or three accounts isn't out of the realm of possibility for a single company. Remember this? https://plus.google.com/+AndroidPolice/posts/B1aZswVZqx5

    • anzensepp1987

      But that is weird as well, because "Research in Motion" isn't existing anymore... ;) It should be "BlackBerry" now.

  • Abhi Kurve

    See the Changelog.
    It says "Fix the Problem"
    Lulwut?

    • NathanDrago

      Yeah, I noticed that too, hilarious!

  • fanSte

    REPORTED AS FAKE !!

  • Andres Schmois

    What really bothers me about this is the comments. Even after compelling evidence people are saying it's not fake and you need to wait. It's just irritating to see people like that.

    • Chandradithya Raja P

      Exactly. It has 1,315 5 star ratings too. Are people really that stupid?

      • Mike Goff

        Yes.

  • CoolCustomer

    Is it possible that it was already pulled, nothing showing up in searches?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The search is no longer bringing it up, which is a good indication that either the developer changed the geographical availability or the removal process has started, and we're seeing a bunch of cached content, waiting for everything to propagate.

  • Qortez Lumpkin

    This is one of the many reasons I left android and went to apple. I love that android is open but there has to be a line drawn somewhere...

    • CoolCustomer

      Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both. A quick search for iOS malware will show that while iOS is a valid choice based on your preferences/needs security isn't a valid reason for switching and the complacency that comes with perceived security is a far bigger threat then some chump with a copycat app.

    • jonathan3579

      You left because you're incompetent and unable to spot a fake app?

  • Mike Goff

    Looks like the entire "RIM" developer listing has been removed...not just the app.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    "The app asks you to wait for 4 days. What official app would launch and then display a screen like that and do nothing else?"

    You mean like Facebook Home? "Sorry it's not ready for your device yet" Well you shouldn't of let me fucking install it then should you - wankers!

    Thanks though for the heads up :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not nearly the same case. Working for a subset of users with tested devices versus showing a splash page for everyone isn't the same.

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        OK, point taken :)

  • Steven Bell

    The app has since been removed from Google Play

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Indeed it was removed within the last hour.

  • Guest

    It has been removed - atleast for me -, great job guys!

  • ash71ish

    shit

    • GigiAUT

      I take it someone was one of the 100k+ installers :P

  • David Beckham

    I think fake app Blackberry Messenger on Google Play is a sensation that people can't wait to enjoy the app BlackBerry Messenger on OS Android and iOS (-___-")/

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