Beware of fake TikTok, warns Punjab Police cyber cell

July 17, 2020 10:36 PM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police State Cyber Crime Cell has warned citizens against downloading any APK files that mimic the services of  TikTok or any other popular apps banned by the Government of India as these can be sources of malware spread.

The warning has been issued amid reports of a message being circulated via instant messaging services, SMS or WhatsApp, that the banned Chinese app TikTok is now available as TikTok Pro in India. A URL is provided with the message for the users to download the app, a police spokesperson further disclosed.

Pointing out that TikTok, along with 58 other popular mobile apps, have been banned by the Government of India for engaging in activities prejudicial to India’s sovereignty and integrity, defence, security and public order, the spokesperson said the Cyber Crime Cell has found that the malware called `TikTok Pro’ is a fake App with a logo that is closely replicated the real app. However, the fact that this fake app is not available for download either on Google Play Store or App Store clearly indicates it is a fraud.

Further, the url http://tiny.cciTiktokPro, provided as download link, does not follow basic security protocol as the site starts with http but not https. Also, clicking on the file immediately installs an APK file Tiktok_pro.apk (size 2.2 MB) on the system and the file specifies the source as legitprime/10gb/master/Tiktok_pro.apk. When clicked on the link a message ‘This site can't be reached’ is displayed.

The department has urged citizens to be extremely cautious in this regard and not click on suspicious links. If they come across any such message regarding the fake app, through any social media platform, they should not forward it to others but should immediately delete it. Clicking on such links pose high risks because it could be malware which could redirect you to other fraudulent sites to lead to financial loss to the user, the State Cyber Crime Investigation Centre, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab, has further warned.

Any information in this regard can be shared with the Centre on email ID to enable the department to take suitable legal action against the criminals indulging in such fraudulent acts.

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