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04/19/2012

Fake Instagram app scamming Android users

Security experts are warning Android users to be cautious after fake a Instagram app began spreading to unsuspecting users.

Instagram, the incredibly popular photo sharing app that was previously only available for iPhone, launched for Android just a few weeks ago.

But it’s a double-edged sword. Instagram hit a million downloads for Android in just 24 hours. In less than a week, it had five million downloads. But look out -  scammers are capitalizing on the Android market success.

According to security firm Sophos, one Russian website is claiming to offer Android users a way to download the app – except it’s not really the app that you get.

Sophos says users are given an app that will send the “bad guys” your text messages to help pad their pockets, and suck out your privacy.

What makes this problem more intriguing is that inside the malicious app, a photo of a mysterious man is buried several times. According to Naked Security reader @DakotaMistress (and some other sharp-eyed readers), the fellow appears in a larger photo taken at a wedding.

Bottom line – if you’re browsing a website that advertises an app, chances are it’s fake or malicious. Always get your apps directly through the store, albeit the Android Play market. 

Still don't have Android? More information is here (and this is from the legit site).

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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