Feeds

Fake Instagram app slings SMS Trojan onto Android gear

Russian site rather than irate Apple fanboi fingered

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Virus lynchpins are distributing an Android Trojan under the guise of popular photo-sharing app Instagram.

The fake version of the Instagram Android app is being distributed via unapproved sources, rather than official sites such as the Google Play Android marketplace. The rogue app has been published on a Russian website purporting to be an official Instagram site, among others.

Once installed, the app will silently send SMS messages to premium rate services, doubtless earning its creators a tidy commission at the expense of fandroids in the process.

Cybercriminals are seeking to exploit the popularity of the Instagram app – which has millions of users around the world, prompting Facebook to pay an eye-watering $1bn for the firm behind the technology earlier this month.

Security firms including Sophos, which detects the malware as Andr/Boxer-F, have added detection for the malware to their smartphone security suites. The Instagram Android Trojan represents the latest example in a growing number of viral threats to target the Android smartphone platform.

"Android malware is becoming a bigger and bigger problem," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Just last week, we saw a bogus edition of the Angry Birds in Space game and it's quite likely that whoever is behind this latest malware is also using the names and images of other popular smartphone 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."

Curiously, the malware contains a random number of identical photos of a man. The photo features a cropped image of a casually dressed witness from a Moscow wedding photo, an image that has become something of a phenomenon on Russian internet forums.

More information on the Android Instagram threat can be found in a blog post on Sophos's Naked Security website here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.