BullGuard

Mobile Security Alert: The New Pinterest for Android Scam to Avoid

Posted by | February 7, 2012

Pinterest Logo

Pinterest, the hottest new social media platform out there, that increased 400% from September to December 2011, has become the new tool used by cyber-criminals. In other words, the increasing desire (as shown below) from Android users to have a Pinterest app on their phone is being harnessed by fraudsters.

 

Pinterest for Android - Google trends

 

How?

Well, yesterday, getting bored while waiting for my usual Monday dentist appointment, I started to browse on my Android phone. Checked the BullGuard Twitter Account -> no new mentions. Then, I opened one of my favourite apps, AppBrain, to see what new apps are on the market and I stumbled on Pinterest.

 

             Pinterest on AppBrainPinterest on AppBrain


It looked legit ( notice the “…by Official Android App” tag), so I searched for it on Android Market and found it:

 

             Pinterest on Android MarketPinterest on Android Market


But when I was installing it, I was warned that the “Item was not found”. Hmmm… weird. And very annoying, all at the same time. Why did they remove it? My curiosity took over and started to read the reviews:

 

             Pinterest Reviews Pinterest Reviews

 

Ooops! I was about to make a mistake. My excitement took control and I forgot to do the usual research before installing an app. Also, the recent announcement that all the applications are automatically scanned by Bouncer, a new Android service, before being published on the Market, made me think that maybe  research is not all that necessary. As things turned out, though, the new security layer provided by  the guys over at Google doesn’t do much good…

 

So, I continued the research and found some interesting facts. Apparently, the application was, indeed, a fake one, not published by Pinterest. And it’s not featured in the Goodies list, next to the already launched Iphone app: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/

 

The guys from GottaBeMobile.com have taken the time to test the malicious app. As you can see in their screenshots, the app is full of malvertisements and scams:

 

Pinterest Adds

Pinterest Scam

 

Lessons:

  1. Research, research, research. ALWAYS, look twice before installing an app (even if you are downloading it from the Android Market). Read reviews, Google it etc.
  2. Don’t get overexcited when your favourite Android app that you have been waiting anxiously for is launched.
  3. Use a mobile security app. Protection on your Android phone is a must these days, as demonstrated by BullGuard in this Mobile Security Manifesto.

 

I will surely be more careful next time before installing a new application on my mobile. Did you ever installed an application and got something else than you expected? Share your story with us bellow: 

 


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