TikTok Malware: A malware is being spread on WhatsApp groups in the name of short-video app TikTok, the Maharashtra cyber cell has warned. The cyber cell stated that TikTok Pro Malware was being spread on WhatsApp groups as fake apk files being passed off as means to download the banned TikTok application. It is being called TikTok Pro. The malware, instead, steals the information saved on the phone of the person who opens such apk files.
The warning is significant since the Indian TikTok users have been wanting to return to the platform after the app was banned in India by the Centre last month. These users have now been using these links shared on WhatsApp and as a result, are leaving their phones vulnerable to malware.
The new scam is an aftermath of the Indian government’s ban on 59 mobile apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Shein and Club Factory among others. The scam banks on the desire of the users of these apps to return to their favourite platforms.
The Maharashtra government has issued an advisory to warn people against the malware which can steal sensitive information of the users. The TikTok Pro Malware app is an exact replica of the original TikTok app, and asks users to allow access to camera, mic and image gallery among others.
In a tweet advisory, the Maharashtra cyber cell released a warning which stated that while the download and use of TikTok in the country continues to remain banned, cybercriminals have been sending various links across social media platforms, asking users to download the banned app using external links.
The advisory tells users to never download any apk files which mimic the TikTok app or any other popular platform which has been banned by the government. It also told users to delete any such messages that they get and not forward them to anyone else. It also stated that the app promoted in these links is not available on Google Play and users should be careful not to download them from external sources.
Apart from this, the purported ‘TikTok Pro’ app has a http:// apk link, which the advisory said is not secure for any private or sensitive information. The advisory added that without the https:// link, any data shared by the users on the site could be accessed by cybercriminals.