Be wary of fake mobile apps in the leadup to Christmas

8 November 2016

Be wary of fake mobile apps in the lead up to Christmas: Alert Priority Moderate

You are reminded to be wary when installing mobile apps from application stores, following media reports of a sharp rise in fake retail and product apps being marketed through a popular online store ahead of the holiday season.

If you download and install these apps on your phone, you may be exposing your device and data to malicious software (malware). This malware can pave the way for attacks ranging from unwanted pop-up ads to more serious efforts to steal personal and financial data, or lock your files and demand a ransom for the key that allows you to regain access to them.

One media report cites examples of fake apps that try to trick visitors to app stores into thinking they represent legitimate brands.

Staying safe
Stay Smart Online recommends using security software on your phone or tablet and automating security updates on your device software. If you are unsure about whether your device has been infected with malware, seek advice from a technical expert.

You should review closely each app you are considering downloading for indications it may be fake. Some non-genuine apps may be identifiable by poor grammar or spelling, or by the use of names very similar to those of recognised brands. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an app, contact the business the app purports to be from using contact details sourced from official websites or materials.  

More informationStay Smart Online has more information on securing your mobile devices.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.

Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Attorney General’s Department (‘the Department’). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.
This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.
The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.
Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.
Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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