A flaw in an Android app, found by security firm Bkav Internet Security, will allow hackers to take complete control of an Android smartphone using the app Viber, an app claiming to allow free phone calls and free messaging to another phone using Viber. Here’s a quote from their Internet website:
“Make free calls and send free messages to any device that has Viber, on any network, from your Android. Viber lets you make free phone calls and send text and photo messages for free to anyone who also has the application installed.”
This sounds like a good deal doesn’t it? Too good, I suspect. Android smartphone users should be especially wary of apps claiming free stuff or services that may seem too good to be true. Especially apps from GooglePlay, Google’s app store. GooglePlay has been the source of malware-infected apps for the last year or so, and I personally wouldn’t trust any app from that source. See Google: Offering Malicious Android App…Still! for background on another such malicious app from GooglePlay. Google has gotten a lot of bad press over this issue, but apparently has yet to properly vet the apps it sells.
It appears to me that this app was developed precisely to lure Android phone users to obtain the app so that the hackers who developed it could take control of the phones to use them for online banking, making calls that are fee based, and for long distance charges.
Cybercrime organizations have begun to exploit mobile devices the same way they’ve done with computers. And this malicious app, if the current trend of downloading it continues, would allow them to control untold numbers of Android smartphones to do their illegal bidding.
My advice is to stay as far away from GooglePlay and the Viber app as you can. In my opinion, their both trouble…big trouble.
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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