Menu
Attack of the clones: detect fake antimalware with these tips

Attack of the clones: detect fake antimalware with these tips

Attackers are planting fake antimalware apps in popular mobile app stores, but they're not hard to spot if you know what to look for.

Security researchers have been stressing the dramatic rise in mobile malware for a few years now--which naturally leads to more users downloading and using some sort of mobile antimalware app. But now even malware protection has become a risk: last month the popular Virus Shield Android app was outed as fraud, and this week Kaspersky announced the discovery of a pair of fake apps using its name in the Google and Windows Phone app stores.

This shouldn't be surprising. When cybercriminals find an attack vector that works, it doesn't take long for copycats to come along with knockoffs.

"Now we are seeing how one successful scam spawns numerous clones. Scammers who want to make a quick buck from inattentive users are selling dozens of fake apps, copying the design, but not the functionality of the original," said Roman Unuchek, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab, in an emailed statement. "It is quite possible that more and more of these fake apps will start appearing. One thing is for sure, the security mechanisms put in place by the official stores cannot cope with these kinds of scams."

So, what can you do to both protect your mobile device from malware and protect yourself from fake antimalware?

Obviously, shady apps are more likely to appear on unaffiliated third-party app sites--especially for Android--but, as evidenced by the discovery of these apps in the official Windows Phone and Android app stores, none of the distribution sites is completely safe.

Kaspersky offered some advice to help users navigate this murky territory:

  • Check if the app page looks official, with high resolution images, thorough product details, and the correct company name and product name
  • Double check the company's website. It should have a section for purchasing products, so if you're unsure, purchase the product from links on the company's page
  • If you do purchase the app before detecting it's fake, contact the app store and ask if you can receive a refund

As with all issues of computer and mobile security, exercise some common sense and a healthy dose of caution. The time you spend making sure the app is legit before you buy or download it will be time well spent.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags App SecurityGooglesecuritymobile securitymalwarekaspersky lab

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments