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FaceApp users at risk: Scammers Target FaceApp Users


FaceApp users at risk: Scammers Target FaceApp Users. Information security experts warned of a fraudulent scheme aimed at users of the ageing application FaceApp

FaceApp users at risk: Scammers Target FaceApp Users




Information security experts warned of a fraudulent scheme aimed at users of the ageing application FaceApp, which gained viral popularity last week. Users lured fake clones of the program, which carry a potential threat.

Users of the photo editor FaceApp, which allows “ageing” selfies, have become targets for fraudsters, according to a press release from the antivirus company ESET, which has been received by Gazeta.ru. This application has gained viral popularity and still occupies places in the tops of the App Store and Play Market, which the attackers decided to take advantage of.

It is reported that fraudsters began to create fake sites that offer to download the free version of the application FaceApp Pro, offering advanced functionality of the basic version. At the same time, when you try to install the application, a large number of pop-up windows appear, after clicks on which inattentive users subscribe to paid applications, advertisements and notifications, which are also part of the fraudulent scheme.

In addition to creating special sites, the attackers also advertised infected links with a clone of FaceApp on YouTube’s video hosting site.




According to information security experts, using this method, cybercriminals, as a rule, deceive victims to sign ads, but switching from YouTube to a malicious link can result in a virus program being downloaded to the user's device.

  • “Last Thursday we found more than 200 thousand results that led to sites with a fake FaceApp Pro app. Only one of the videos we found on YouTube had more than 150 thousand views. At the same time, the malicious links were clicked more than 90 thousand times. No company can boast such a high CTR [clickthrough rate - approx. ed.], which cybercriminals were able to achieve, ”said Gazeta.Ru, an ESET expert, Lucas Stefanko.


  • In order not to become a victim of cyber attackers, it is recommended to download applications only from trusted sources, for example, official app stores, and also to pay attention to the program's rating, as well as user comments.


  • Last week, the Mashable portal issued a warning about activating clones and alternatives to FaceApp. So, three of the ten most popular applications in the AppStore were programs for the transformation of individuals.

However, experts do not recommend downloading these applications, as their privacy policy is questionable.


  • The FaceApp application was created by the Russian company Wireless Lab, based in St. Petersburg. Its main developer is Yaroslav Goncharov, who is the CEO of Wireless Lab. Since FaceApp literally overnight became popular not only in Russia but around the world, the American authorities sounded the alarm - supposedly behind the photo editor there can be sad, well-known “Russian hackers” collecting information about US citizens under the guise of entertainment content.


  • For example, Democratic Senator from New York State Chuck Schumer sent a formal request to the FBI and the US Federal Trade Commission asking for an investigation into FaceApp.


  • “In an age of face recognition technology that is used for both security and surveillance purposes, it is imperative that users know how to protect their personal and biometric information, including from hostile foreign agents,” the US senator said.


  • However, the Wireless Lab itself claims that there is no danger in using FaceApp.
“Despite the fact that the main development team is located in Russia, user data is not stored in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the company said, adding that they do not sell or share the collected information about their users.

In addition, Wireless Lab explained that most of the photos uploaded by users are deleted from servers within 48 hours. In this case, the user can send a request to delete all of their information ahead of time - to do this, you must contact technical support.

FaceApp was born about two years ago and quickly became viral - this application transforms the user's selfie using artificial intelligence. It allows you to “add” yourself a smile, present yourself as a man/woman, or simply apply a beautification filter that corrects skin and makeup flaws. After the “ageing” filter appeared in the application functionality in 2019, FaceApp experienced a second wave of popularity.


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