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Fake Instagram App Infects Android Devices

Just when the wait appeared to be over with Instagram finally becoming available for Android users, it seems that photo-lovers may have to endure another unbearable wait as the image-sharing app has been hit by a nasty Russian doppelganger.

Security software firm Sophos made the discovery on Wednesday, after identifying a fake Instagram app doing the dirty on several Android devices. Upon download, the app unleashes its malware upon your device and sends text messages to your contacts without your permission (or knowledge) as part of a cunning campaign to get them to register for premium services, thus pocketing the developer a fair amount of cash.

However, what makes it stand out from the rest of the multitude of clone apps is this odd image:

Rumoured to have been borrowed from a Russian Internet meme, users are being advised to refer to this picture in order to identify whether or not the malware is on your Android device. Apparently, numerous versions of this portrait appear within the app's .APK file: "Maybe the reason why his picture is included multiple times is to change the fingerprint of the .APK in the hope that rudimentary anti-virus scanners might be fooled into not recognising the malicious package," explained Sophos consultant Graham Cluley.

So photo fans, beware - unless the idea of a Russian pin-up makes for a great alternative for your Instagram app, be sure to check your Android OS for signs of foul-play.

Source: IntoMobile (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.