These counterfeit apps might be filming you - delete them before you become an accidental star

These fake apps can secretly film you and steal your messages and must be deleted
Three apps that have chiefly been designed to target government officials but are probably as likely to have been downloaded by an unsuspecting user are gathering a terrifying amount of data.

Bleeping Computer reports that SentinelLabs has identified a cybercriminal group known as Transparent Tribe (APT36) which has been instrumental in promoting three fake YouTube apps. 

Two of the apps are called YouTube and the third one is named Piya Sharma after a famous anchor of the same name. The apps try to trick users into thinking that they are downloading the YouTube app but they look more like internet browsers and are lacking in some features found in the original app. It's believed that the Piya Sharma app is used in romance-based scams.

The apps are not present on the Google Play Store. Instead, Transparent Tribe (APT36) presumably uses social media platforms and fake landing pages to distribute the apps. They ask for an alarming number of permissions during the installation process, some of which such as microphone access are relevant to video apps. Other permissions, such as the ability to send and view SMS, should be enough to sound alarm bells, but a person who is not tech-savvy may not think much of them.

At their core, these apps are the CapraRAT malware. They can not only steal deeply private information such as call logs, text messages, and GPS data but can also record audio and video and initiate phone calls. The apps can also take screenshots and interfere with system settings.

In addition to info theft, the apps can also allow their operators to run identity theft campaigns and carry out phishing attacks.

SentinelLabs asserts that APT36 might be working for the Pakistani government and the apps' primary targets are members of the Indian army and government as well as Indian human rights activists. Those involved in diplomacy work in Kashmir are also a target. 

To avoid being a target of fake apps like these, it's best to only download apps from trusted sources such as the Google Play Store.
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