What happens when you download a Fake App?

Cybercriminals construct fake apps that include malicious code designed to steal your data. Fake apps are designed to seem and act like authentic apps in order to fool users into downloading them. A third-party program asks for permission to access your data when you install it. Fake apps take advantage of this to acquire access to your data without your knowledge.

Fake apps have emerged as a new hazard to customers worldwide, with hackers increasingly targeting mobile platforms as their favorite target of attack.

How Do Fake Apps Harm Your System?

Fake apps may aggressively display adverts in order to generate ad income, install malware on your device, or steal your account credentials and use them without your permission elsewhere online. Fake apps take advantage of this to acquire access to your data without your knowledge.

Fake apps allow a hacker to obtain remote access to a device and perform unwanted and frequently damaging remote-controlled operations, such as removing or installing other apps without the user's permission. Commercial spyware apps convey personal data from a user's device to third parties without the user's knowledge or agreement. These apps have the ability to read your text messages and listen in on your phone calls.

How to Spot Fake Apps?

We frequently come across many apps with the same name on the Play Store. Before downloading these counterfeit programs, a vigilant user can recognize them by performing proper security checks. When it comes to protecting your data from rogue apps, securing your devices is critical. Some of the ways are −

  • Screenshots and Reviews − Counterfeit programs contain screenshots with misspelled words and weird photographs. Phony apps usually have fake ratings, although you can come across actual evaluations from individuals who previously downloaded the program and discovered it was a scam.

  • Keep an eye on the number of downloads − Popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook will have a higher number of downloads. According to security experts, if an app has 5,000 or fewer downloads, it is most likely the wrong listing or a phony.

  • Observe the App and the Developer's Name − While numerous apps may have the same name and icon, the developer's name is unlikely to be the same. There are spelling problems in the title or description of a fake app.

  • Permissions and App Publish/Update Date − A new app from a well-known corporation will have a "recent publish date," whereas older apps will have an "updated on date." Imposter apps frequently have a recent release date. Examine the permissions that the app requests during the installation process.

Types of Fake Apps

Following are some of the types of Fake Apps −

Fake Installer

Despite the fact that Google Play is a legitimate software store, some phony Google Play installers can be accessible on other websites. Some Android users are duped into believing that the URL is correct. It's designed to persuade users to download their preferred applications.

Cloaked Malware

There is camouflaged malware in an application that is designed to sneak into the device invisibly. If you try to download it, you will be redirected to another page by a module. Then you'll have to cope with the support site's terms and conditions. It might be an app that allows you to subscribe to a premium SMS service, but it has also started sending pricey texts in the background.

Phishing Apps

Phishing apps frequently imitate a legitimate source and ask for a user's authentication credentials or billing information, which is then forwarded to third parties. These programs frequently target bank information, credit card numbers, online account information, and login passwords.

Once a hacker has obtained access to your phone using a malicious program, a password for your phone will not be adequate to protect you from them. Only download apps from reputable developers, and if you suspect you've downloaded malicious software, uninstall it, reset your phone to factory defaults, and change all of your passwords.

Updated on: 30-May-2022


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