Did you just download Slack? Did you get it from the official website or the official app store for your device?

We ask this because Kaspersky has noted that cyber criminals are using the names of popular communication apps to peddle malware and other cyber threats.

Applications such as Slack, Webex and Zoom have all had their names borrowed by crims for nefarious purposes.

Analysis by Kaspersky found some 1 300 files purporting to be the aforementioned apps, but were actually something else.

The security firm says that of those 1 300 files it detected 200 threats the most prevalent being adware known as DealPly and DownloadSponsor.

These adware families show users adverts, or worse, download adware modules.

“Apart from adware, in a few cases Kaspersky experts found threats disguised as .lnk files – shortcuts to applications. In fact, the vast majority of them were detected as Exploit.Win32.CVE-2010-2568 – a quite old, yet still widespread malicious code that allows the attackers to infect some computers with additional malware,” adds Kaspersky.

While Zoom and Webex are among the most popular masks for cybercriminals to don, there is no application more popular among cybercriminals than Skype.

Kaspersky reports that it has discovered over 120 000 suspicious files purporting to be Skype. These files are much more dangerous according to Kaspersky as many don’t just contain adware but malware including Trojans.

Security expert at Kaspersky Denis Parinov says that while there hasn’t been a dramatic spike in the number of malicious files parading as real apps, it’s important to inform those using these apps of potential dangers when downloading them outside of the official channels.

“We consider it important to let people know about the existence of such threats. In the current landscape, when most of us are working from home, it is extremely important to make sure that what we use as a tool for online social meeting is downloaded from a legitimate source, set up properly and doesn’t have severe unpatched vulnerabilities,” said Parinov.

The official websites are often the best place to find downloads of popular apps and if the apps aren’t there, a safe link is usually provided. We’ve linked to the official websites of all the apps mentioned in this story below.

[Image  – CC 0 Pixabay]