- Researchers find three Instagram assistance apps that send your login credentials to malicious servers.
- The apps have been downloaded thousands of times, featuring relatively positive reviews.
- One of the apps claimed to boost Instagram accounts’ security, preventing its hacking.
Users of ego-focused social media platforms like Instagram can easily slip down the spiral of vanity, seeking more followers, more likes, and almost immediate recognition. This is precisely where many applications on the Google Play Store focus, promising to help you achieve these results by boosting your social media presence and reach. As their descriptions allege, these “assistance” apps can help you achieve the followership that would take months to form in just a couple of days. However, and no matter whether their main promise is fulfilled or not, several of them are acting as credential stealers as well, sending your Instagram login data directly to known malicious servers.
Malwarebytes conducted a study on several of those apps, most of which remain online at the time of writing this piece. What they have found is that there are at least three apps that are in essence credential stealers, namely the Followkade, LikeBegir, and Aseman Security. LikeBegir comes with similar promises to the Followkade, both acting as Instagram acceptance boosters. The Aseman Security one, however, is posing as an Instagram account hack prevention tool, and account security booster. The particular apps are targeting Iranian users, as their localization is very specific.
These apps count many thousands of installations, and their reviews are not particularly bad. This means that getting tricked into using them is easy, losing your account credentials to malicious actors that operate freely through the Google Play Store. This highlights how careful you should be with the apps you pick to install on your phone or tablet, as the fact that an app passes through Google’s filters doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. If you want to boost your Instagram account, put work into it, post high-quality content, and engage with your community to make it grow. As in all things in life, there are no shortcuts into achieving greatness.
As far as the security of your Instagram account goes, use a strong password, change it regularly, activate two-factor authentication, and use one of the trustworthy AV tools for Android, coming from reputable vendors who are proven in the field. Don’t just believe what you read in the app descriptions, and don’t blindly trust anyone, not even third-party apps that ask for authorization. With the revenues that some make out of their Instagram activity, the platform is serving them as an occupational field. Treat it as one, and work with care on all its aspects, both the security and the content.