Instagram’s `scam app` tricked 100,000 users
Washington – Online photo-sharing platform Instagram has reportedly tricked over 100,000 users into a scam called “InstLike”, an app that asked users to share their usernames and passwords to get free likes and followers.
The users became willing participants of a giant “social botnet” after they downloaded and signed up for the free app, which began ‘liking’ random photos and following random users, Mashable reports.
A new research by security firm Symantec revealed that the users were also asked to buy virtual coins to accrue more likes and followers, the report added.
According to the app store analytics website App Annie, the Android app was created on June 9, while its corresponding iOS app was released on September 19.
Symantec spotted the scam in late October this year, after the app successfully survived scrutiny from Apple and Google for months.
After Symantec warned Apple and Google, the app was removed from Google Play and the App Store on Oct. 25 and Nov. 7, respectively.
The app used a variety of ways to convince people to pay for virtual coins and spread the app.
Although the apps have been removed from Google Play and the App Store, the app’s site, InstLike.com, is still operational.
Symantec has suggested changing your password immediately, instead of deleting the app from your phone.