Fake version of Instagram infects Android devices, says Sophos

Instagram is the most celebrated app in the Android Market currently.  The popular, and highly anticipated photo app was recently introduced for the Android platform, shedding off the exclusive availability for the iOS. Sophos is now warning Android users about the malware that is being disguised as this photo-sharing application. Cybercriminals have created fake versions of Instagram Android app, which has been designed just to earn some moolah. If downloaded from untrusted or unapproved sources, there is a risk of infecting your smartphone. On installation, the app sends background SMS messages to premium rate services and earns its creators some revenue. Sophos’ products detect the malware, which is said to be distributed on a Russian website acting as an official Instagram site - Andr/Boxer-F.

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Instagram was recently acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping amount of $1 billion, and the since its launch, the app has been downloaded on millions of mobile devices. Recently, when the Angry Birds Space was introduced and the game was a big hit within three days, some malicious minds had infected the game, if the app wasn’t being downloaded from the official Android Market. The malware would get on the device, communicate with a remote program to install more malware on the Android phone or tablet. 
Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos said "Android malware is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Just last week, we saw a bogus edition of the Angry Birds Space game and it's quite likely that whoever is behind this latest malware are also using the names and images of other popular smart phone apps as bait.   Infected Androids are now effectively part of a botnet, under the control of malicious hackers.  Android users need to be extremely careful when downloading applications from sites, especially when they're not official Android markets. With help from internet users we were able to identify that the image comes from a Moscow wedding photograph, where he was dressed a lot more casually than other guests. The man's photo became widespread on Russian internet forums, making the man something of a celebrity. There's no reason to believe, however, that he has anything to do with the Android malware attack."


Suprisingly, the malware also has a random number of identical photos of a man. Now thats just strange.

Published Date: Apr 20, 2012 09:18 am | Updated Date: Apr 20, 2012 09:18 am