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Meta warns of malicious apps that steal passwords |  world and science

Meta warns of malicious apps that steal passwords | world and science

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, warns of malicious apps that steal passwordsFernando Frazao / Agência Brasil

Posted 10/07/2022 21:05 | Updated 10/07/2022 21:07

SAN FRANCISCO – Meta warned Friday (7) that one million Facebook users have downloaded or used apps that initially appeared harmless, but were created to steal your password to access the social network.

“We will warn a million people who may have been exposed to these applications, and that does not necessarily mean that they have been hacked,” David Agranovic, director of the Meta Cyber ​​Security team, said at a press conference.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has named more than 400 malicious apps since the beginning of the year. It is available for smartphones running Apple, Google, iOS and Android operating services respectively.

“These apps were on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and photo editing tools, games, VPN and other services were spoofed,” Meta identified in a statement.

Once installed on the phone, these apps will ask Facebook users for their credentials to use the features.

“They tried to encourage people to provide sensitive information to allow hackers to access their accounts,” Agranovich sums up, who assessed that the developers of these apps were looking for other passwords, not just Facebook.

“The target appeared relatively random,” he notes. It was about “getting as many passwords as possible”.

The company said it shared its findings with Apple and Google.

Apple told AFP that only 45 of the 400 apps identified by Meta were available on its operating system, and that the company removed them from the App Store.

Google indicated that it has removed most of the reported apps from its online store.

“None of the apps identified in the report are available on Google Play,” a Google spokesperson wrote to AFP.

More than 40% of the mentioned apps were for photo editing. Others were simple tools, like turning your cell phone into a flashlight, for example.

Agranovich recommended users to be careful when the app asks for passwords for no good reason or makes a promise that’s “too good to be true”.

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