// Rogue Mobile Application Detection

What is Rogue Mobile Application?

Rogue, fake or scammer mobile applications are used to steal users’ information or commit fraud by imitating an existing application or a mobile application in the development phase.
Usually, users download scammer mobile applications to their devices by believing in information such as free license/full version provided from unofficial application stores. Or, they may be exposed to the situations mentioned above by installing an imitated version of the application they would obtain from an official application store, with changes made to logo/title/slogan. Besides that, even when obtaining an application from official application stores, we recommend that you check the application’s reviews, source, and required permissions.

What are the Effects of Fraudulent Mobile Apps?

Threat actors can easily obtain your personal information and sensitive content on your device when we install fraudulent mobile apps on a smartphone, copy the login credentials of the (official/trusted) app we actually want to access via a fake login form and cause financial or psychological damage to their victims.

Data Theft: Fraudulent mobile apps can gain access to the Gallery/Finance Apps/Messaging apps on your device with the permissions they request from you or malware hidden in the source code, especially when they are not obtained from an unofficial app store.

Corporate Impersonation: Fraudulent mobile applications can imitate an existing mobile application of your company and copy the login information of your staff/customers/managers, which can lead to data breach and damage your corporate reputation.

What Are the Ways to Protect Against Scammer Mobile Applications?

Knowing how to protect yourself from these rogue apps is important. Here are a few tips:

  • Always download apps and app updates from legitimate stores, like Google Play or App Store. Don’t click on links for apps from emails or websites. Go to the legitimate store and do a search for the app you want.
  • Look at who developed the app. If a banking app wasn’t developed by the bank itself, it probably isn’t legitimate.
  • Check what permissions the app requires on your mobile device. For instance, if a Torch App needs access to your contact list or needs permission to send text messages, be suspicious.
  • Read reviews on the app store, prior to installing a new app. Other people have already done the leg work for you. Use it!

Scams through attacks on mobile devices are becoming more prevalent. Although it is mainly in the Android space, Apple, Windows, and other devices are never completely safe. Always do your research before installing a new app and be aware that any online transactions you are doing from a mobile device are potentially putting you at risk of cyber-attacks.

// How Does Cyberthint Detect Fraudulent Mobile Applications?

After Cyberthint customers define their assets through the Cyberthint Unified CTI Platform, the relevant service of Cyberthint tries to detect if there is any application shared on unofficial mobile application distribution websites using the name of the institution (continuously). After detection, it shares where it detected the application with the platform user. At the same time, the detected application is automatically scanned in Cyberthint’s sandbox service to reveal the risks of the application with its technical details. Then, the takedown process starts automatically.