Science & Technology

Kaspersky warns about malicious FaceApp fake

FRIDAY, 26/07/2019 19:01:49

Online users should always have their thinking caps on and be careful with everything they do on the internet and with their devices to avoid cyberattacks, cybersecurity experts warned.



Cybersecurity experts suggest that online users should always have their thinking caps on and be careful with everything they do on the internet and with their devices to avoid cyberattacks. Photo courtesy of ictnews.vn

Kaspersky has recently identified a fake application that is designed to trick users into thinking it is a certified version of FaceApp but goes on to infect victims’ devices with an adware module called MobiDash. Once the application is downloaded from unofficial sources and installed, it simulates a failure and is subsequently removed.

After that, a malicious module in the application remains in the user’s device, displaying adverts. According to Kaspersky data, the first detections appeared on July 7 and there were almost 800 different module modifications identified.

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager, Kaspersky Lab SEA, said: “Yet another viral app taking several social media channels by storm is quite a recurring phenomenon. In this age where users jump onto a bandwagon because it’s fun or trendy, FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out can overshadow basic security habits – like being vigilant on granting app permissions.

“Our previous study even uncovered that the majority (63 per cent) of consumers do not read license agreements and 43 per cent just tick all privacy permissions when they are installing new apps. While this survey was done three years ago, we believe its findings on our digital habits remain relevant and true.”

Basically, there is no harm in joining online challenges or installing new apps. The danger lies when users just grant these apps limitless permissions into their contacts, photos, private messages, and more. Doing so allows the app makers possible, and even legal, access to what should remain confidential data. When this sensitive data is hacked or misused, a viral app can turn a source into a loophole which hackers can exploit to spread malicious viruses, he said.

Kaspersky suggested that users should not download applications from unofficial sources, select apps to install on their devices wisely, read the license agreement carefully, and install security solutions on their devices to avoid any damage.

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