Tuesday 27 September 2016

Popular app removed from App Store as it was collecting users' private data

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 11/11/2015 | 16:48

The incident is a timely reminder that even apps in official app stores can essentially be malware
The incident is a timely reminder that even apps in official app stores can essentially be malware

A software developer has claimed that InstaAgent, an app that works in tandem with Instagram, gathers the usernames and passwords of users and forwards them to an unknown server.

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The app's full name is Who Viewed Your Profile - InstaAgent, and it claims to do exactly as its name suggests.

However Peppersoft developer David Layer-Reiss discovered that the app performs a much more sinister function once installed on a smartphone.

The app also posts images on user profiles without permission.

Soon after Layer-Reiss published his findings yesterday the app was removed from Apple's App Store and Google Play.

InstaAgent was very popular in some countries, and Layer-Reiss estimates that more than 500,000 people installed the app.

In Germany it was among the top 30 most popular apps.

An Instagram spokesperson nstagram spokesperson advised against installing third-party apps like InstaAgent.

"These types of third-party apps violate our platform guidelines and are likely an attempt to get access to a user's accounts in an inappropriate way.

"Anyone who has downloaded this app should delete it and change their password.”

Mashable report that the incident is a timely reminder that even apps in official app stores can essentially be malware.

In October, Apple removed several apps from its store as it was revealed they were collecting users' private data.

Earlier this year Apple removed enormously popular WeChat which had more than 500 million user worldwide because it contained malicious code.

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