Counterfeit Jay-Z App Pushes Malware That Calls Out NSA Spying Scandal On Independence Day
I'm not sure we needed another example of just how opportunistic malware creators can be, but thanks to Android.AntiObscan, we got one. This is a piece of malware that's been floating around the Web recently that mimics Jay-Z's brand-new album app, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Weeks before its launch, this album hit the headlines in a big way due to a Samsung deal that would see 1 million Galaxy device owners receive the album for free (in effect making the album Platinum certified even before its release). That, along with the fact that we're dealing with Jay-Z here, is enough grab a lot of people's attention.
As its name suggests, Android.AntiObscan refers to government spying. This is further proven by the fact that while the malware app acts and looks like Jay-Z's official one to compliment the album, on July 4th, there's an extra little treat. On that day (aka: today), the phone's wallpaper will change to one featuring president Barack Obama with the phrase, "YES WE SCAN", above his head (a phrase coined not long after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks).
It all seems rather humorous, and hints to the fact that this isn't a malicious piece of software after all, but one that's meant to clue some unassuming people into the problems at hand with government spying. You could argue that going the malware route is hardly the best one, though, as you're effectively disregarding someone's security just to get your message across (it's even a bit ironic).
Nonetheless, some security firms are encouraging people who have it to uninstall, as it's not yet established whether or not the app does in fact have some malicious intent. What this issue really highlights, to me, is that you have to be careful with installing apps outside of the app store - especially those based on very current events.