SAN FRANCISCO — There are very few people who don’t already have the YouTube application on their smartphone or tablet. However, fake applications that imitate the famous video platform still manage to fool internet users, sometimes with serious consequences.
According to cybersecurity experts, several malicious versions of the YouTube mobile application for Android are currently circulating on the internet.
Although they are not available in the Google Play Store, they are nevertheless available in the form of files to download and install on your smartphone.
They might use the name, logo and have the general appearance of YouTube, but they actually contain malicious programmes, AFP reported.
These fraudulent versions of the app, many of which originate from Pakistan, are said to be capable of taking control of a smartphone remotely.
They can geolocate you, change operating system settings, make phone calls and send fraudulent SMS messages, take remote screenshots and even take photos or record videos using the device’s front and rear cameras.
To avoid falling into the trap of these bogus applications, which are obviously not limited to YouTube, there are a few rules to follow.
The first is to never install Android applications from outside the official Google Play Store.
The same goes for iPhone owners, who should only rely on what they can find in the App Store. Last but not least, you should also be wary of any new application that is suddenly being promoted or shared on social networks