New Delhi, September 11: Cybersecurity researchers have found several spyware-infected versions of Telegram and Signal on the Google Play Store, designed to gather sensitive information from compromised Android devices, a new report has said. According to the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, these bogus apps include nefarious features that capture and send names, user IDs, contacts, phone numbers, and chat messages to an actor-controlled server. The activity has been codenamed "Evil Telegram" by the researchers.

"Our experts discovered several infected apps on Google Play under the guise of Uyghur, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese versions of Telegram. The app descriptions are written in the respective languages and contain images very similar to those on the official Telegram page on Google Play," the researchers said. Uber India-Specific Verification Feature Helps Company Add 3.5 Million Trips and Orders; Rolled Out Globally.

Moreover, the report said that to convince users to download these fake apps instead of the official app, the developer claims that they work faster than other clients thanks to a distributed network of data centres around the world. At first glance, these apps appear to be full-fledged Telegram clones with a localised interface. Everything looks and works almost the same as the real thing, according to the researchers. The researchers then looked inside the code and found the apps to be little more than slightly modified versions of the official one. MobiKwik Launches Lens for Users to Help With 'Financial Wellness'.

They found a small difference that escaped the attention of the Google Play moderators -- the infected versions house an additional module, which constantly monitors what’s happening in the messenger and sends masses of data to the spyware creators’ command-and-control server, the report mentioned. Before Google took the apps down, they had been downloaded millions of times.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 11, 2023 04:35 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website