No, our Android app doesn't contain a virus - it's a false positive

Victor, 27 January 2022

It has recently come to our attention that a number of our Android app users have been receiving menacing virus warnings from various antivirus apps. A few users have reported a message from AVG identifying an Evo-gen trojan threat inside the app and a similar thing has also reportedly happened to a user on an Oppo phone, with the warning issues by the phone's built-in protection.

AVG virus warning Play Store complaints
AVG virus warning • Play Store complaints

We can assure you that these warnings are all false-positives. Unfortunately, such things happen from time to time. Virus and malware detection is not a perfect process and we have already reached out to anti-virus software developers to remedy the situation and the issue has seemingly been resolved. Here are screenshots from AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security and Malware-bytes on a phone running the latest GSMArena 1.6.6 app.

Reports from AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security and Malware-bytes, all clean Reports from AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security and Malware-bytes, all clean Reports from AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security and Malware-bytes, all clean
Reports from AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security and Malware-bytes, all clean

We are also including a more thorough report from a multi-tool virus scan on an APK file downloaded straight from the Google Play Store, courtesy of virustotal.com. We strive for full transparency and encourage anyone out there harboring some doubts to grab and scan the APK for themselves.

VirusTotal APK scan
VirusTotal APK scan

There are a few more details surrounding the unfortunate situation we would like to point out as well. First and foremost, our app is only officially available through the Google Play Store. Google has a myriad of very strict security and virus scans of its own via the Google Play Protect program. It runs both on the files we publish to the store and then once again as you install the app on your device. There is very little chance for malicious code to actually slip by it. You will also notice that some of the reviews we received are from users actually running the older 1.5 version. This screenshot was taken straight from the Google Play Console admin.

Google Play Console admin reviews with app version included
Google Play Console admin reviews with app version included

It would be even harder for us to continue "slipping in" malicious code over multiple app updates. Plus, the fact that the virus warnings are popping up just recently without us having changed the app clearly points to an unfortunate case of misbehaving new virus definitions. Multiple virus tools tend to share the same sets of definitions, which explains the multiple sources of the alerts as well.

We at GSMArena have always strived for full transparency in our work and place utmost value on trust and a good relationship with our users. At this point in time our Android app is more of a passion project for our dedicated fans more than anything else. It is currently running completely ad-free and is not monetized in any way. It is plainly evident by the short list of permissions it requires that we are not collecting any user data either.

We hope this puts your mind at ease and ask kindly for anyone affected by this unfortunate mistake to reconsider the low feedback ratings given on the Play Store. We will also happily answer any further questions you might have on the topic.


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Reader comments

  • Stefan
  • 15 May 2022
  • nBX

Lmao, why would they lie about there being a virus in their app anyways. You think this website, with all the information and articles etc. on here, created all of this just so they could convince you to download their app which is a virus? Lol sure

  • Anonymous
  • 06 Feb 2022
  • rJ3

I just use the website, it's faster and doesn't eat up storage space. I don't want any more "analytics" taking place on my phone, than there already is.

Funny enough I've been using the app for the longest and I've never had a problem with it..in this era where all phones have their own antivirus installed who need a third party app that has malicious malware too... 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

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