ANDROID users have been warned of a fake app copycatting a popular video chat platform.
Victims have been duped into downloading an Android version of Shagle, a free adult chat site.
But here’s the thing – Shagle doesn’t have an app.
Not on Android, nor on iPhone.
It’s entirely web-based through your web browser, like Chrome.
People who have downloaded the app risk giving away a whole host of personal information from your phone away to hackers, which could eventually be used to raid your bank accounts.
Experts from ESET uncovered the fake ripoff on a website impersonating Shagle.
Fortunately it never made its way onto the Google Play Store.
But what made it all the more convincing is that it was a functional app.
Cyber crooks pulled it off by turning the app into a trojanized version of the Android Telegram app.
With it, they can record phone calls, collecting SMS messages, see lists of numbers you’ve called, access your contact list, and much more.
And if it’s allowed accessibility services, the app can even get hold of stuff from apps such as Gmail and Messenger.
Experts believe the so-called StrongPity group are behind the campaign.
“The mobile campaign operated by the StrongPity APT group impersonated a legitimate service to distribute its Android backdoor,” ESET researchers said.
“StrongPity repackaged the official Telegram app to include a variant of the group’s backdoor code.”
Fortunately, ESET says the site distributing the fake app is no longer active.
But it serves as an important reminder to all.
Never download apps onto your Android devices from the wider web.
Always go through the Google Play Store – or your smartphone’s bespoke app store.
That way you are far less likely to stumble across something malicious.
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