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Password-Stealing Instagram App 'InstaAgent' Reappears in App Store Under New Name

Last November, a malicious app called InstaAgent was caught storing the usernames and passwords of Instagram users, sending them to a suspicious remote server. After the app's activities came to light, Apple removed it from the App Store, but it now appears Turker Bayram, the developer behind the app has managed to get two new apps approved by Apple, (and Google) both of which are stealing Instagram account info.

Peppersoft developer David L-R, who discovered the insidious password-sniffing feature in the first InstaAgent app, last week wrote a post outlining new password stealing apps created by Bayram. Called "Who Cares With Me - InstaDetector" and "InstaCare - Who Cares With Me," the apps are available on Android and iOS devices.

instacare
The original InstaAgent app attracted Instagram users by promising to track the people who visited their Instagram account, and the two new apps make similar promises. Both apps say they display a list of users who interact most often with an Instagram account, asking users to log in with an Instagram username and password.

David L-R investigated Bayram's new apps and discovered a suspicious HTTPS packet, leading him to uncover a complex encryption process used to covertly send usernames and passwords to a third-party server and hide the evidence. He found both the Android and iOS versions of the app send Instagram account information to unknown servers.
As I had a closer look to the iOS app I found out that the app steals the Instagram password & username to send it encrypted to "unknown" servers. The "password-stealing" algorithm and the encryption seems to be the same as in "InstaCare - Who cares with me?" a new iOS app from the "InstaAgent" developer, which malicious behaviour I discovered a few days ago. A working PoC (Proof of concept for the iOS version) can be found here.
Multiple reviews on the iOS App Store claim that after using the malicious Instagram apps, their accounts were compromised with spam photos advertising the app that were uploaded to their feeds. As with InstaAgent, the apps show up prominently in the Top Charts in some countries, though not in the United States.

appstorereviews
Bayram's ability to get multiple new apps approved by Apple after having been found guilty of harvesting Instagram account information speaks towards the glaring issues in Apple's app review policies. It is unclear how a developer who was caught operating a malicious app was able to get additional apps past Apple's radar.

There are dozens if not hundreds of low-quality third-party apps that promise to provide Instagram users with followers and other perks, which should be avoided to avoid having account information stolen. Instagram cautions against installing third-party apps that don't follow its Community Guidelines and says such apps are "likely attempts to use your account in an inappropriate way."

(Thanks, Şizofrenik!)



Top Rated Comments

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9 weeks ago
Why doesn't Apple pursue criminal charges against these "developers"?
Rating: 23 Votes
9 weeks ago
Revoke their accounts and certificates.
Rating: 20 Votes
9 weeks ago
How the hell did Apple approve these Apps knowing what they did about Bayram?
Rating: 14 Votes
9 weeks ago
Fool Apple once - shame on them
Fool Apple twice - shame on Apple for not sending them to the white room prison the first time
Rating: 11 Votes
9 weeks ago
Honestly, I think there's starting to be a lack of quality control from Apple. Not trying to scold them or anything, but it's been multiple times in fairly short intervals that a malicious app like this appeared on the store.
Rating: 10 Votes
9 weeks ago
I can see the app review process being a daunting one given the volume Apple sees in App Store but it is disturbing that this type of thing gets through once let alone repeatedly.
Rating: 10 Votes
9 weeks ago
Apple seriously needs to get it together as far as apps are concerned. Apple must figure out a better way to monitor the reviews of these apps, as well as support a 'report this app' feature where a team trained in investigating such issues exists. Perhaps Apple should build some centers in different parts of the country where these specialze teams exist with a sole purpose of monitoring the app store. I'm not alone when I say that the app store review system is simply a disorganized mess and the recent lack of quality control is proof of that.
Rating: 9 Votes
9 weeks ago
Here's a suggestion: Just don't install these apps in the first place! Is it really worth the risk to know who visited your Instagram?
Rating: 9 Votes
9 weeks ago
Developer should have been banned the first time and any subsequent apps denied period. Not sure how someone at Apple fouled this up. It does NOT bode well for the whole "secure" thing right now.

Aren't there laws against **** like this? Can't the guy get fined/jailed? I mean we lock up people for even less these days.
Rating: 6 Votes
9 weeks ago

Don't put your ___ app password in anything other than ___ app. Simple practice yet some find so hard to follow.

Seriously! I don't even trust the ___ app in the App Store. I go to their website and look for an App Store link for their app. Once I find the link, I read all of the negative reviews (positive reviews can be purchased, there are folks with several iCloud accounts just for this purpose). Only then do I trust the ___ app enough to even download it. And that's after asking myself if I really need the app.

Common sense is like deodorant, the people who need it the most use it the least.
Rating: 6 Votes

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