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Fake apps posing as virus scanners on the rise

Since the release of WannaCry ransomware, a sudden surge of apps pretending to protect your phone are showing up in the app store.

Although WannaCry had a lot of victims around the world, a lot of people are not aware that it does not affect mobile phones. The reason behind this is that it utilizes an exploit discovered by the NSA that only run on Microsoft Windows and mostly targets outdated Windows systems.

These apps are filled with malware to the brim and runs various attacks that these apps are supposed to protect. One of the first to discover these apps was McAfee last May which indicated the rise of the fake WannaCry protection apps. It has been a growing trend nowadays that viruses and malware are made to look like apps.

Seven (7) Google Play apps have been found to be related with WannaCry and two (2) were in Apple’s App Store that demanded excessive permissions which includes your phone’s wake up password. RiskIQ is the cyber security firm that found them.

Security researchers and analysts have found fake and fraudulent apps in the market that are laced with adware, Trojans and malware which is estimated to be a couple of hundreds.

The developers capitalize on fear, hysteria and people’s paranoia that people will try to seek out something to protect them.

The paranoia is starting to get real. It can be a click away from total disaster. May it be an attack via PDF, Microsoft office documents, flash drives, movie sub-titles, password managers and even power grids can now be taken down in an instant.

The sheer volume of downloads that these fake apps is astonishing and the developers have already cashed in thousands of dollars by scaring people like crazy.

Nobody is safe and the threat is real. If someone would like to get an antivirus/anti-malware for their phones, make sure to do diligent research and probably opt to choose the familiar brand names such as Norton, Mcafee, AVG, Avast, Malwarebytes and Trend Micro just to name a few. Be suspicious, if it is too good to be true, do not trust it yet, do your research. Last but not the least… THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!

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