Fake Netflix app causes Cyber Security concerns

Netflix, which has more than 44 million subscribers in 42 countries, is now facing a backlash from its customers for a wrong reason. In November 2016, a fake Netflix app was being circulated on the web.

The app mimics Netflix app in color, and features and so was said be downloaded by many users across the world. But in reality, the said app was a fake Netflix app which has the potential to access user camera, microphone, and messages. The cyber crooks who are managing this app on remote basis will have access to the user’s life- potentially allowing them to take undressed photos and listen to their conversations.

Experts from Zscaler discovered this creepy app and concluded that this is a well-crafted piece of spyware called SpyNote Rat.

Zscalar researchers said that Netflix company’s iOS and Android apps are extremely popular as they turn the simple mobile gadget into a television with which users can stream movies and TV shows from anywhere and anytime.

As companies which have many users attract hackers, Netflix has become the latest victim.

As per the report of Zscalar, the new fake Netflix app is actually a malware Trojan which sneaks into devices. When the user clicks on it, the app deletes its self on the screen. But in the background, it still runs sending data such as contacts, SMS, photos and wallet details to a remote server operated by hackers.

For few days the fake app was also available on Google Play store. But as soon as the Goggle bots caught hold of this malicious software, it was removed from the internet juggernauts apps store and is now only available on the web.

Blackhat marketing techniques are helping these app creators to get maximum clicks and so the app is spreading like an epidemic.
SpyNote was identified early last year. But Security experts from ZScalar say that its visual form was only available in the fake Netflix app.

Jacob Soo, a security analyst at Palo Alto Networks said that the only way to avoid this fake app is to stop downloading the application from third party sources. He added that such apps can prove extremely dangerous if they are driven by malicious intentions like the following-

These apps can circulate your personal images or text conversation on the web.

a.) Switch on your camera and capture your bedroom acts.

b.) Spy on your whereabouts and distribute your location to your enemies

c.) Can make your device as a medium to launch cyber attack such as DDoS

d.) And can initiate fake transactions from your mobile wallets

So, what’s the solution…..?

Just stay away from third party sources for app downloads and just use Google Play Store for app downloads.

Keep your mobile security software updated and hope for the best!

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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