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According to a series of tweets by a security researcher from CronUp, fake installers of popular messaging apps are being spread via fraudulent download sites. We also came across samples of the files, as mentioned earlier. The locations and apps are in Russian and are designed to entice Russian users.
The files have different names, but the hashes are the same. When the researchers attempted to launch them, they appeared to be contaminated and could not do so. They have adware-like characteristics, according to further analysis, Payday Champion.
Adware, often known as advertising-supported software, is any program or application that shows adverts in the form of pop-ups or pop-under windows. Most consumers inadvertently install adware by installing freebies on their computers, such as toolbars, HD wallpapers, or widgets, or downloading mobile apps. While not malicious and classified as grayware, unwanted advertisements can be annoying to some users. Adware can also cause device and network performance to slow down.
Not only are fake programs employed in suspicious activities, but legal installers (those found on fraudulent websites rather than official download sites) are also targeted. Malicious files are frequently bundled with legal app installs for communication and other purposes by cybercriminals. Threat actors may distribute malware or obtain unauthorized access to users’ devices and systems once these files have been downloaded.
Keeping an eye out for phony apps
Many businesses have been compelled to switch to a work-from-home environment due to the coronavirus outbreak. These arrangements rely primarily on communication apps to provide real-time contact between remote team members, so it’s critical to secure the tools used in this configuration.
[Related: Can You Work From Home? Here’s What You’ll Need for a Safe Installation]
Apps should only be downloaded via the app store’s official website. Users should inspect programs downloaded from app shops such as the App Store or Google Play to see genuine or knockoffs. A low number of downloads, low ratings, and negative feedback are all telltale symptoms of a counterfeit program. Users should inspect apps before downloading them from download sites or app stores, as phony apps and fraudulent download sites copy the name and style of their authentic equivalents.