Recently installed TikTok? Beware: it could be a spy app taking photos of you!

Recently installed TikTok? Beware: it could be a spy app taking photos of you!

Cybersecurity experts have named malicious applications that are deliberately made very similar to popular instant messengers and social networks. They can steal your data and even take pictures and record your conversations.

The Internet offers a huge number of applications for download, and those who use Google Play or Apps Store and avoid third-party sources are rightly wary. Unverified sites may contain dangerous spyware applications that can steal your funds, data, and even spy on you. And the biggest problem is that sometimes malicious apps can even sneak into official stores.

ESET, one of the leading cybersecurity companies and creator of the antivirus of the same name, regularly monitors malware and publishes lists of them. These applications are especially dangerous because they disguise themselves as well-known products, and many users install them without noticing that they are fake. For example, in early 2024, ESET urged users to be careful when downloading special applications for issuing consumer loans, as some of them could be fake. Once installed on devices, they stole sensitive data such as account details, contact lists and even SMS texts. Among these malware applications were AA Kredit, Amor Cash, GuayabaCash, EasyCredit, Cashwow, CrediBus, Flash Loan, Go credit, and several others.

Recently , ESET published a new list of malicious applications that have been released for Android. Some of them even managed to get into the Google Play Store. There is an important quality that unites them - they pretend to be messengers or social media applications. According to ESET, some are designed to simply steal data from your phone, including contacts, files, call history and messages. But there are also some that can track your location and can gain access to your WhatsApp and Signal accounts. The worst threat posed by some of them is that they can take photos of users and record their phone conversations.

Here are the apps you need to watch out for:

  • Chit Chat
  • GlowChat
  • Hello Cha
  • Let's Chat
  • MeetMe
  • Nidus
  • Quick Chat
  • Privee Talk
  • Rafaqat
  • TikTalk
  • Wave Chat
  • YohooTalk

If you downloaded any of them, delete them immediately. The scammers who create these apps don't just place them online and wait for their victims. They actively promote them to users, trying to establish personal contact with them under any fictitious pretext, including even romantic acquaintances. The goal is to convince people to install a dangerous application. Often all they need is for the user to simply download the app - even if you haven't completed the account registration process, they run in the background and cause harm.