Removing Iranian applications from Google Play; User security is a victim of sanctions and filtering

Google Play Store has again removed a number of Iranian applications from its platform and caused problems for the users of various applications. On the 27th of June, the news of the removal of Tapsi, Digikala, Divar and App applications from Google Play was published; A removal which of course has had a history before and has removed Iranian applications from the reach of users several times.

The US sanctions against Iran are the reason for the removal of the aforementioned applications from this Android application store and have caused problems for Iranian users and applications. On the one hand, users are facing the problem of not being able to use this platform to download and update Divar, Digikala, Tapsi and Up apps, and on the other hand, the businesses that own these apps are harmed by this removal.

One of the problems that arise as a result of banning and removing Iranian applications is the impossibility of accessing applications that the user wants to download and install from Google Play. Although Google Play has been filtered in Iran since October 1401, many users still use this platform with the help of a VPN.

Counterfeit versions and the challenge of user security

Of course, the more serious problem is the issue of providing fake versions of deleted Iranian applications in the absence of the original version of these applications. The story is that when the apps App, Tapsi, Digikala and Divar are removed from the Google Play Store, profit seekers may publish fake apps or even malware with names and logos similar to these apps on Google Play. Due to lack of knowledge, users may download these fake apps and infect their gadgets.

The risk of infecting the gadgets of Iranian users is one of the most important problems that occurs as a result of the removal of Iranian applications from Google Play and is considered a threat to the security of information and privacy of users. Due to the fact that Google Play is filtered in Iran, users do not receive warnings from this platform when they download and install infected applications or malware, as in the past, and this issue threatens the security of their devices even more.

Zomit’s investigations show that several fake versions of some Iranian applications have been published on Google Play. For example, there is an app called Snap with the same color and font as this app, with only one Latin letter difference, available on Google Play, and next to it, an icon similar to the Telegram logo can be seen, which looks like an Iranian messenger, and until today, more than It has had 100,000 downloads.

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