Malware disguised as TikTok-alternative app is being circulated via WhatsApp, SMS by cybercriminals: Report

Kaspersky has advised users to download apps only from the official app stores to steer clear of such fraudulent schemes.


Following the ban of 59 apps, including the popular app TikTok, scammers have found a new way to introduce malware into devices. Cybercriminals are now sending users links to download a malicious application, a team of researchers from Kaspersky found.

Several users were receiving an SMS or WhatsApp message from unknown numbers that was asking them to download an alternative to TikTok - an app called TikTok Pro. Once you install the app, it asks permission to access the SMS and contacts on your device.

 Malware disguised as TikTok-alternative app is being circulated via WhatsApp, SMS by cybercriminals: Report

TikTok has finally added features to help report misinformation on the platform.

In a press release, the cyber security firm said that the message seems to be genuine as it offers a chance to "enjoy TikTok videos and also make creative videos again."

"The malware steals the affected users’ information and sends a text with the malicious link to all numbers in the affected users’ contact book," the statement further said. Certain other apps are also advertised, which, according to the experts, are going to help the criminals earn money from app distribution.

The notice mentioned that the malware did not steal users' account credentials and that this malware was similar to another malware detected earlier, which was being spread as Jio offers.

Igor Golovin, malware analyst at Kaspersky, said, “This activity shows that cybercriminals are increasingly intelligent and is constantly evolving according to the current landscape – they are quick to adapt and do not restrain from using ‘hot’ topics – to make themselves relevant”.

The firm advised users to download apps only from the official app stores to steer clear of such fraudulent schemes.

Telangana police too has warned citizens to be aware of this scam via a tweet.


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