Spotting a bogus app is usually pretty easy, but that hasn’t stopped hackers and crooks from trying to cheat us. The final example is a pair of fake Telegram apps that look and work like the real one, but bombard you with ads to make some extra cash.
Fake versions of Telegram, a popular security-focused messaging app, were recently spotted by cybersecurity firm Symantec. They both look like near-perfect copies of reality, although their Google Play Store pages have had a few red flags.
In this case, the application name is misspelled as “Teligram”. The company behind it is listed as âWarriordevelopers Inc.â. (another red flag), and it only has a few thousand reviews – compared to millions of reviews for the real app. The crook also added “[NEW VERSION UPDATED]âTo probably explain these differences, but it also sounds sketchy and unprofessional.
However, if you were not careful and accidentally download Teligram instead of Telegram, the actual app is really almost identical. This is because the real service uses open source software, which means anyone can modify it to make improvements or just copy it entirely.
From this setup page, the only difference between true (left) and false (right) is the word âTeligramâ and the color of the app button. Otherwise, they are the same.
Below the surface, however, these bogus apps add additional malware. In this case, the sole purpose seems to be to show you additional ads to make money. However, they could also potentially be used to access your smartphone through a backdoor.
Symantec is not linked to any of the bogus apps it found, and they’ve likely already been removed by Google. But given Telegram’s open-source design, it’s likely we’ll see more copiers popping up in the future, so that’s something to watch out for.