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Fake Instagram Apps Posing Serious Concerns

When Instagram launched themselves on to mega popularity terrain with the release of Android and iPhone Apps, they were seen as something alluring. But then, with popularity came some negative publicity as well.

As you all know, Instagram was in the news for their one billion-dollar acquisition by social networking giant Facebook. But it looks like the popularity of their Android app is now being exploited by cyber scammers.

Sophos, a high profile security firm, scoured the web and found a slew of fake apps disguising as the official Instagram app. As a result, many unsuspecting users have lost their money going for these malware.

The fake apps are being offered from many foreign sites, and it seems like nobody seemed to realize that unless they download from Google Play, they are likely to be duped.

Analyst Graham Cluley of Sophos has for instance listed a Russian website offering an Android edition of the Instagram app known as Andr/Boxer-F. He wrote in his blog that if people download the app from this site, they are running the risk of infecting their smartphone. The malware that Sophos has found were indeed dispatching background SMS, generating illicit capital for its makers. Moreover, the Instagram experience has been evidently poor in these apps.

A few of the apps that exploit the Instagram name include Instaroid, InstaPics, Instagram Heaven, and InstaG. But they are less harmful as they haven’t yet reported to spoof the app outright, fooling unsuspecting users. The advent of the fake apps calls for Google to be more careful and stringent in adding apps to their Android Market. Vulnerability of their apps can lead customers to choose iOS or upcoming Windows phone OS, for sure.

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