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Posted on: 
October 4, 2022
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One of the fastest-growing phenomena among cybercriminals, a rogue app is a constant problem in authorized as well as unauthorized app stores including Google Play and App Store. So, are you wondering about rogue apps? Here, we will explain what they are, what they do, and how you can protect your business and customers from the significant damage they can cause

What are Rogue Apps?

A Rogue app or apps are counterfeit apps designed to impersonate trusted brands or apps having non-advertised malicious features. The motive of such apps is to make unaware users install the app and steal sensitive information like login credentials or bank details.

According to threat intelligence services, financial and security institutions are now continuously working and monitoring these apps to address the significant threat.

Here, note that this is a new form of digital fraud gaining attention in the past few years. And, it is pretty simple to pull off too. For this, a person just needs to build a seemingly harmless app, put the logo on it, and put it up for free. Further, when your customers download it considering it a fun company bonus, you and the company, both suffer.

Why Rogue Mobile Apps Are Lethal?

Unlike web app which runs under the organization's control and can carry out only limited operations, a rogue mobile is beyond the control of an organization. It is impossible for an organization to block the creation, hosting, distribution, installation, and usage of the mobile app. A rogue mobile app can capture data (including OTP), store data, change data, reuse data, schedule, transfer, call any APIs, etc. A thief can create a look-alike app using APIs either from scratch or by modifying the original app, in hours. The anti-tampering check is the only control, but it can be simply bypassed, in many ways, whether written in java/C++.

How to protect yourself from Rogue Mobile Apps?

A rogue mobile app can be distributed to the masses through social media. Once a user downloads and uses it once, he/she becomes a permanent victim.

There is a very limited way to protect from rogue apps.

Knowing how you can protect yourself from these rogue apps is very important. Therefore, here are a few tips for you:

  • While downloading an app, make sure that you download apps and updates from authorized sources. Remember not to click on any links for apps from websites or emails. Find the authorized store and search for the app you want to download.
  • Investigate who has developed the app. If the app was not developed by the company itself, it is probably a rogue app
  • Go through the review and ratings on the app store before you install a new app. It might happen that other people have already done the verification work for you. Take advantage of it!
  • Look at the permissions that the app needs on your mobile. For example, if a torch app requires access to contact lists or text messages, be suspicious.

Alongside, here are a few ways to help you identify rogue applications:

  • An app may not be trustworthy if it is on an unreliable download site. Any unauthorized links to download the app can also be risky.
  • Even if you do not enjoy reading the terms and conditions, it can give an insight into whether or not the app is legitimate
  • When you download an app and open it. Look for the permissions it is asking for. Whether it is relevant to the app functionality or not, will give a fair idea.

The Bottom Line

Here, even if this new type of digital fraud has been going around and affecting many, you will always have a way to overcome it. And, with proper knowledge and use of software, we can find ways to eliminate the means and secure protection against the threat.

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