Meta warns about over 400 apps

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Technology company Meta warns apps that want to steal user data from Facebook and Instagram. © Imago/Symbol Pictures

Note, online users: According to Meta, over 400 apps are equipped with fake features. Their goal: to steal login data for Facebook and Instagram.

Berlin – Not every app is necessarily comfortable for its user. This has been clarified by US technology company Meta, which has so far found more than 400 malicious apps in the respective app stores of Google and Apple in 2022. Its purpose: to steal sensitive user data used to log in Facebook, where sometimes there is a risk of losing accessAnd empower Instagram.

Meta warns of over 400 apps equipped with fake features: Third parties want to steal login data for Facebook and Instagram

According to Meta, apps loaded with bogus features are of a very different kind, including games, VPN services, and photo editing tools. Your users may use the functions of the respective App only if they have previously logged in with their account data for the Meta Platform.

In the meantime, however, the apps have been removed from the Store. On its blog, Meta explains how these malware apps work, what those affected can do and which apps are actually affected by the problem. After discovering more than 400 malicious apps, Google and Apple were immediately notified.

Malware-laden apps allow third parties access to Facebook and Instagram accounts

According to Meta, photo editor apps were particularly affected by the fake features. 42.6 percent of malicious apps being talked about can be assigned to this category. Basically, apps that do useful functions at first glance are ultimately just aimed at encouraging users to log in with their account data.

If a person installs a malicious app, they may be asked to sign in with Facebook before being able to use the promised features. Then, when the credentials are entered, the malware steals the username and password.

And if people who put malware into the apps were able to obtain account information, there was a chance they could gain full access to Facebook or Instagram accounts.

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Facebook and Instagram data at risk: How to spot malicious apps

A distinction must be made between legitimate apps that require a login per se and apps that don’t require a Facebook login before actually using any functions. The difference, according to meta-experts: Malicious apps request account data in order to use the app, not individual areas in advance.

What exactly does malware mean and what can it do?

Computer programs are generally referred to as malware, malware or malicious software, intended to perform undesirable and sometimes harmful actions from the point of view of those affected. Malware, i.e. “malicious software”, is often used as a general term for viruses, worms, spyware, and other malicious software.

Furthermore, these malicious apps often do not deliver the features promised in the description. Furthermore, negative ratings and low download numbers would indicate that these are malicious apps. However, app operators sometimes resort to fake reviews in order to give the best possible reputation to their apps designed for data theft.

Cell phones already have malicious apps: According to Meta, the way to proceed is as follows

Anyone who discovers such malicious apps is encouraged to report them directly to Google, Apple or even the Meta team. Just over a million users have been stolen from apps that have been identified as malicious, according to news company Bloomberg. If third parties have logged into Facebook or Instagram with their personal account data, or if at least one attempt has failed due to two-factor authentication, the following can be done:

  • Delete the affected app immediately
  • Enable two-factor authentication (if not already done)
  • Set up login alerts to detect when third-party login attempts occur
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In addition, META recommends always reporting data abuse directly. on your The blog also lists metaWhich of the now removed apps are affected by fake features. The display is divided into iOS and Android apps.

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