It’s been reported that InterSloth’s ‘Among Us’ is being used by hackers to distribute malware. Among Us one of the latest games to be hitting the world by storm, with it being popular among PC and mobile gamers alike. Cybercriminals have noted the games popularity and begun to take advantage of it, creating fake versions of the game in order to distribute malware. New research from the app protection firm Promon, who have partnered with Wultra, has shown that there are over 60 fake ‘Among Us’ apps masquerading as the original game. The research found that there appear to be at least nine different creators distributing fake apps on third-party stores. Around 75 per cent of there fake apps have been repackaged in order to incorporate malicious code which turns the legitimate game into adware. Once downloaded large ads will constantly appear across a users device and take over the app’s interface after time.
It is unsurprising that cybercriminals have jumped on to this latest trend to trick enthusiastic players into downloading malware. Among Us has become somewhat of a phenomenon, particularly amongst a younger crowd, who may not be as concerned or aware of potential security implications. It is important that individuals only download apps from trusted sources where stringent checks are run on app developers to filter out apps that may have been compromised. This protection is not offered on third-party platforms and websites. The app may be loaded with adware, which admittedly is more inconvenient than harmful, but it could also come with a banking trojan that could do much more damage.
Trending, multi-platform games are a goldmine for Cyber criminal organisations, especially those more popular with younger gamers as they are more likely to side-load the game and less likely to have endpoint Anti Virus software loaded on to their devices. Whilst some of the fake downloads just have an Adware payload, others are far more sinister and can be used to steal personal information and credentials from unsuspecting users. The game is free to download on Andriod and iOS so anyone currently playing a side-loaded version should delete it, run some free malware removal software and then go get the official, and far safer version. It would be good if they told their friends, real and online, to do the same too.
If it sounds too good to be true, then it might be. Mobile gaming mods that quickly give players an advantage are likely designed to give mobile malware an advantage as well.
Side-loading of apps is installing apps from a website rather than a major app store. This is almost going mainstream in gaming, such as with Fortnite on Android. Unless it is specifically required by a major app developer, it\’s advisable to avoid sideloaded apps. Public app stores like Google Play and Apple App Store have several layers of security that allow for the curation of safe apps that are inspected by store owners and their security partners.
Major app developers are also embedding security into their own apps to protect code and player personal information. To be protected by multiple layers of security, only download apps from major app stores.