Meta Platforms has warned 1 million Facebook users that they may have unknowingly compromised their accounts by downloading and sharing login credentials with a malicious application.
The tech giant’s security researchers discovered more than 400 Android apps and iOS apps that were intended to steal Facebook login information and compromise accounts. These apps were found on Google’s Play Store as well as Apple’s App Store. They were disguised to appear like photo editors, games and VPN services, and other utility apps to trick users into downloading them.
“This is a highly adversarial area and while our industry peers are working to detect and eliminate malicious software,” David Agranovich (Meta’s threat disruption director) and Ryan Victory (Meta malware detection and detection engineer), said in a Friday blog post. These malicious apps were reported to Apple and Google by our peers, and have since been removed from both the app stores and this report’s publication.
Meta reports that the malicious apps might ask users to log into Facebook to access its promised features. Once they do this, malware will steal their password and username. An attacker could gain access to the account and all of their private information, including friends’ lists if login information is stolen.
Developers may post fake reviews to hide negative reviews from people who might have noticed the malicious nature of the app.
Meta suggests that users who suspect they have downloaded an app should reset their passwords and turn off log-in alerts.
Representatives from Apple and Google confirmed that malicious iOS and Android apps were removed from the Google Play Store, and App Store. Apple claims that the App Store hosted only 45 of the malicious iOS applications disclosed by Meta.
The spokesperson stated that the App Store was created to provide users with a secure and trusted platform to download apps. She also said that there is zero tolerance for apps with malicious intent or fraud.
A spokesperson for Google stated that the app removal was not the only action taken by Google. Users are also protected under Google Play Protect which blocks Android apps.