Caution to all ye eager Android users who can’t wait to join the Instagram craze: be careful about where you download the app because there’s a nasty Instagram decoy floating around out there that will infect your device with some malware. Sophos, a security firm that specializes in these types of software threats, identified the fake version of the very popular photo app that looks to capitalize on all of the cultural frenzy surrounding Instagram as of late .
Via the company’s Naked Security blog, Sappos said that it located a Russian website that offers Android users an opportunity to download Instagram but after completing some security tests on the suspicious app they found that the software was in fact malware.
Poor Android users. You haven’t even had Instagram all that long, then you had to suffer the jealous indignation of legions of iPhone users, and now this. It goes without saying that if you’re an Android user, you really should try to download all of your apps via Google Play whenever possible. According to Sophos, the Fakestagram app doesn’t even really do that good of a job of copying the performance of Instagram. It just steals your money.
In case the rock you’re living under doesn’t get a reliable wi-fi connection, you may not have heard that Instagram was recently purchased by Facebook for $1 billion, cementing the app’s status as the Hot New Thing. Since the acquisition, the app has been having a rather glamorous cultural moment that propelled past some impressive milestones, such as surpassing 40 million users and landing at the top of Apple’s App Store. Unfortunately, that explosive popularity also seems to have attracted some opportunistic app developers bent on making a few bucks off of Instagram’s name.
Then again, the appearance of copycats disguised as malware appears to be the marker of when an app has officially arrived. Earlier this month, it was reported that a similar malware-passing-as-popular-app phenomenon was happening with Angry Birds Space for Android.