A clone of the popular Viber messaging app contains malware that steals all WhatsApp related data including photos, videos, and phone call records
Fake versions of popular apps are becoming a growing problem these days. Hackers and other bad guys know that they can get their viruses onto people’s devices if they can hide it in convincing versions of the apps we use every day. We’ve seen many popular apps cloned, and we’ve also seen less popular apps pumped full of malware and then pushed onto the Google Play Store. Once installed, these fake apps infect our devices and are then very difficult to get rid of. The popular messaging and video call app Viber is the latest app to get this treatment.
You need to avoid Viber Messenger, which is described as a Lite Chatting App. Victims fall prey to a phishing scam as the fake version of Viber is peddled on a website that has been built to look just like Google Play Store. The site even includes fake security certificates and the clone version of Viber comes with a fake Most Secure Messenger checkmark and shield, a claim of 500 million downloads, and a 4.3-star rating just like it would on the original Google Play Store.
Viber is a very popular messaging app that works on multiple platforms and has been downloaded over 900 million times all over the world. It offers users instant messaging complete with stickers, GIFs, and even games. On top of that, Viber users have access to free video and voice calling over the internet and can pay a subscription for local and international calls to landlines and mobiles.
With fake apps on the rise, it is more important than ever to only download apps from reputable catalogs like Softonic or direct from the Google Play Store. As this case involves a fake version of the Google Play Store, it is also important that you familiarize yourself with phishing scams so that you’re best equipped for spotting false sites. Check out our guide to avoid phishing scams to keep yourself one step ahead of the hackers.
This fake version of Viber was discovered by Lukas Stefanko, who is a malware researcher at the Slovakia-based online security company ESET. He posted the malicious code on Twitter to build awareness.
Remember, you are your best weapon in the battle against threats like this. You should always double check the source of all your downloads and look out for spelling mistakes, confirm the name of the developer attached to the program, and watch for other errors that could indicate that something isn’t right. Most importantly, however, whenever possible make sure you only download apps from sites that you can trust.