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Thursday, 22 August 2013 11:40

Don't be snapped by the Instagram scam

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The Instagram for PC scam The Instagram for PC scam Symantec

If you see an advertisement for a PC version of Instagram don't be fooled, it's a scam according to Symantec.

The advertisement is currently doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter but users need to be aware no desktop version of Instagram currently exists, according to Satnam Narang, a security response manager with Symantec.

“Both of the supposed versions of Instagram for PC do not deliver as promised,” Narang wrote in a post yesterday.

“This is just another vehicle for the scammers to convince users to fill out surveys, so they earn money through shady affiliate programs.”

Thankfully users don't need to worry about anything malicious, with Narang confirming “there was no malicious functionality bundled with the software, such as a keylogger or backdoor,” he said in the post.

Narang said the advertisement leads to multiple downloads. The first download was a large RAR archive that bundled a series of dynamic link library (.dll) files along with the supposed application. When a user attempts to run the application, they will be greeted with what looks like a login screen for Instagram.

In reality, this login screen is a fake. If a user tries to login, they receive a phony “Fatal error 2.4.5” message, claiming there is a "mising" .dll file.

The program then encourages the user to “click a variety of social sharing options before trying the download again,” Narang wrote.

The user is then lead to a survey.

More than 4,000 people have posted about the application on Twitter and Facebook, and another 2,000 have shared it on Google+, according to Narang.

If you've fallen victim to an online scam you can report it to the ACCC's ScamWatch site here.


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