A trio of Android applications that supposedly helped Instagram account owners increase likes and followers, boost security and improve the overall user experience were actually stealing their usernames and passwords, Malwarebytes has reported.

The apps, which were designed to target users based in Iran, had been available for download via the Google Play store as recently as April 12, but have seen been removed by Google, according to Malwarebytes Senior Malware Intelligence Analyst Nathan Collier, who penned a company blog post detailing the scam.

Collectively, Malwarebytes identifies the malicious apps as Android/Trojan/Spy.FakeInsta. The first of the three, Followkade, had over 50,000 installations prior to removal. According to the blog post, the Followkade app opens to a splash page following installation, and then to another page requesting the user's credentials. Entering such information immediately results in it being sent to a known malicious website.

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