KakaoTalk Users Warned of Malicious Applications

Experts have found fake apps that harvest information and send out spam messages

Security experts and Kakao are warning users of the KakaoTalk instant messaging app about Trojanized and fake apps that leverage the application’s popularity. 

Trend Micro experts have come across a Trojanized version of KakaoTalk that’s designed to harvest contact information, text messages and phone settings.

Cybercriminals took a legitimate version of the app and added malicious code to it. Unlike the genuine application, the Trojanized KakaoTalk (ANDROIDOS_ANALITYFTP.A) asks for a large number of permissions when it’s installed.

This particular threat has been distributed via email.

However, this is not the only malicious element that leverages the KakaoTalk brand. Around a month ago, Kakao warned users about a so-called KakaoTalk Security Plugin designed to send spam text messages to all contacts.

In this case, the bogus security plugin was distributed via a hacked Google Play developer account.

A redirector app was uploaded to the compromised developer account. This redirector was set up to serve ads that led to various applications, including the fake security plugin.

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