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Have you ever downloaded an application that asks you to enter your login details? Facebook to start using it? If your answer is yes, you may need to take measures to prevent theft of your information. And it is that the security researchers of the Meta company have announced that they have identified over 400 malicious apps that have managed to circumvent security controls and have reached the Google Play Store and Apple Store. These apps were designed to steal users’ Facebook login credentials.

Meta has identified a very long list of malicious apps ranging from photo editors, including those for turning photos into cartoons, to business utility and social media management apps.

  • photo editors, including those who claim to allow you to “become a cartoon”
  • vpn that claim to increase browsing speed or grant access to blocked content or websites
  • Phone utilities, such as flashlight apps that pretend to illuminate the flashlight of your phone
  • mobile games falsely promising high-quality 3D graphics
  • Health and lifestyle apps, such as horoscopes and fitness trackers.
  • Business or ad management applications that claim to provide hidden or unauthorized features that tech platforms do not find in official apps.

All of these have in common that they require users to log in with their Facebook account to start using them. However, only they spoof the registration function to steal user data.

According to an entry on its official blog, the company indicates: “If you enter your credentials, the malware steals your username and password. If login information is stolen, attackers could potentially gain full access to a person’s account and do things like message their friends or access private information.”

In this same entry, the company run by mark zuckerbergstates that his colleagues in the industry, Google and Apple have already been informed about these malicious apps and they have already been removed from their respective app stores. But it may already be late for some users who have downloaded them on their mobile. .

How to identify malicious applications

Many of the malicious apps copy real apps and features that ask to log in to Facebook safely. This is why Meta has published a series of telltale signs that help recognize fake apps and not be a victim of scams.

  • Require social media credentials to use the app: Apps that can only be used after logging in with Facebook should be suspected.
  • The reputation of the application: Because many developers falsify ratings and reviews to cover up negative reviews from people who have detected the malicious nature of the app, it is necessary to thoroughly review the download count and negative reviews.
  • Promised features: Whether before or after logging in with Facebook details, an app that does not provide the features it has promised to provide should be suspected.

Examples of malicious applications

Steps to keep your account protected

In case you have been a victim of any of these applications, from Meta they recommend delete said application from your mobile and follow these instructions to keep your data protected:

  • Reset and create new strong passwords: it is recommended not to use the same password for multiple websites or applications.
  • Two Factor Authentication: to add an extra layer of security it is recommended to use an authenticator application.
  • Activate login alerts: in this way you will be able to know if someone tries to access your Facebook account. Similarly, it is convenient to verify previous logins and recognize the devices that have access to the account.
  • Alert about malicious applications: for this you can use the Data Abuse Bounty program from Meta.

Image: goal blog

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