I work in the cellular industry (+ am a decade long Android enthusiast) and have been noticing an urgent issue with a dev on the Play Store for the last 6 months that has received no attention thus far from Google.
Essentially, an app developer by the name of “**Yobi Mobi**” ([https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=7738048749662331558&hl=en_US&gl=US](https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=7738048749662331558&hl=en_US&gl=US)) has developed a slew of fake launcher applications that I would consider malware. They go by the names of **Email Home, Weather Home, Messenger Home, Bible Home**, + a couple more.
Once a user installs these applications, the app will send a notification that mimics an Android system intelligence security notification, tricking the user into enabling the launcher as default for the device. Once that privilege is granted, all hell breaks loose. First, the Yobi Mobi launcher will hide itself from the new app drawer, in an attempt to make it harder to remove. Then it will turn your quick menu and notification bar into ads. The user will swipe down, and instead of seeing notifications they see a pop up with ads. The Yobi Mobi apps will also use up significant CPU resources for some reason, leading to the affected device becoming hot to the touch and almost unusable in many cases. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Yobi Mobi is crypto mining with the affected devices. It eats up that much resources.
Yobi Mobi is also blatantly ripping off Google copyright by mimicking the G search bar, and when it’s used, it routes to an unknown search engine (sketchy!).
Most egregious of all is the Yobi Mobi applications will continue to sideload other applications (I suspect, I can’t prove this one), but almost every single device I’ve seen infected has a slew of “phone boost” malware apps installed alongside Yobi Mobi launchers.
After seeing this issue for the literal 300th time in my cell phone store today, I decided to write this post. I have reported the developer as well as every application to Google at least 10 times now, no action has been taken.
Google even runs ads for Yobi Mobi apps in their Play Store itself. It’s disgusting. **I can’t even tell you how many people have switched to iOS in my store due to this issue.** This developer is single handedly ruining Android’s current reputation. Scariest of all, I used to ONLY see it affect Samsung devices. However, in the last 2 weeks, I’ve now had 4 Pixel owners run into the same issue. Now I am very concerned!
**I know for a fact these apps ALL violate Google Play Store policy**, yet they are still allowed to hang out and thrive and receive combined downloads topping almost 50 million. Why?
I also have noticed this issue exclusively affects my customers around 50 years of age or older. I suspect Yobi Mobi is utilizing Facebook ads to trick users into installing their application.
I love Android to death, and I see this as a major threat to the OS if it’s not handled sooner than later. I don’t know what other channels I should utilize to raise awareness in the Android community of it’s existence.
If anyone has had any experience with this please chime in! I would love to hear it 🙂
Sorry for the long write up, thanks for reading, take care you guys!