Trojan:MobileOS/Tapsnake is a malicious app that can track your phone’s or tablet’s location and send it to a remote server or directly to a person who tries to spy on you. This Trojan horse is quite dangerous but the good news is that it was detected and removed from app markets very quickly. It’s not a very widespread threat now. However, I recently stumbled upon a few fake pop ups that were using this threat to scare users into thinking that their Android devices were infected with Trojan:MobileOS/Tapsnake. It’s not the first time when scammers use existing threats to trick users into installing fake or useless antivirus apps. The virus warning is fake. I got this fake pop up warning from mobile.alert.secure-intl.com:
ANDROID VIRUS DETECTED
A site you recently visited has infected your phone with (Trojan:MobileOS/Tapsnake).
Press OK to remove the threat.
As I said, it’s fake. Your smartphone or tablet is not infected. Just close the pop up and do not download anything.
Then, I found another scam related to Trojan:MobileOS/Tapsnake. It was a fake virus scanner. Here’s the screenshot:
WARNING: Virus Detected!
VIRUS NAME: TAPSNAKE
Infected File: /os/apps/snake.icv
Description: Steals passwords and credit card information.
ACT NOW (HIGH RISK)
This security warning looks like the real thing. It mimics real antivirus scanners and it does this really well. Not too tech-savvy users can be easily tricked into installing fake antivirus app. If you got one as well, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Your device is not infected.
Once the scan is finished, the fake web page redirects users to Google Play to install an app called Armor for Android. It might be different for you. Or instead of download it from Google Play it may redirected you to androidsecurityfree.org web page which will display yet another fake virus warning.
If you got the same fake warning do not click on the pop-up box or anywhere in it. Just close it or hit back button. In case you are constantly getting fake Trojan:MobileOS/Tapsnake pop-ups on your phone or tablet, go to device’s Settings menu > Apps or Application manager (this may differ depending on your device). Uninstall apps that may display these pop-ups (recently installed). Most likely, your device is infected with adware. Also, scan your computer with reputable antivirus app.
Further useful reading: Smartphone Security – Best Practices.