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Immediate Uninstallation Required: Phony Variants of Two Android Apps Pose Risk to Your Bank Account Information

Phones Canada: Beware of Fake Signal and Telegram Apps on Android

If you recently installed two messaging apps, Signal Plus Messenger and FlyGram, on your Android phone, it’s important to delete them immediately. These apps have been discovered to contain malware and have been removed from official app stores such as the Play Store and Galaxy Store. They were also removed from third-party app storefronts where they were sideloaded on Android phones.

Signal Plus Messenger was listed on the Play Store for nine months and was downloaded over 100 times before it was eventually removed. FlyGram, created by the same developer, was also removed in 2021. Cybersecurity firm ESET has determined that these apps were fake versions of Signal and Telegram, designed to deliver malware to the devices they were installed on.

Although the apps have been removed from official app stores, they may still be present on your phone if you downloaded them previously. Google has classified these apps as malicious and capable of stealing personal data. Before uninstalling them, it is crucial to unlink your Signal and Telegram accounts from these apps.

According to ESET researchers, the fake Telegram app can gather device information, sensitive data such as contact lists, Google accounts, and call logs. It also includes a feature that allows the attacker to back up the app’s data to a remote server. The malicious Signal Plus app can monitor and send both sent and received messages to a remote server for unauthorized access. It is associated with a Chinese-based malware group called BadBazaar.

Both fake apps have the ability to record phone calls and access device cameras. Initially targeting users in China, their reach has extended to users in Ukraine, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Hong Kong, and the United States.

To protect yourself from such threats, always download apps from official and legitimate app stores. Avoid installing apps from unknown sources, even if they promise enticing features. Regularly check your Connected Devices list to ensure that no unauthorized devices have access to your accounts. If you have unwittingly installed the fake Signal Plus or FlyGram apps, you may need to purchase a new phone or wipe your existing device to remove any unknown devices from your Signal or Telegram accounts.

It’s important to exercise caution and use common sense when it comes to app downloads. In this case, there was no legitimate reason to install fake versions of Signal or Telegram. Stay vigilant and prioritize your online security by sticking to official and trusted apps.

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