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Facebook ran ads for a fake ‘Clubhouse for PC’ app planted with malware – TechCrunch

Cybercriminals have taken out a variety of Facebook ads masquerading as a Clubhouse app for PC customers with a purpose to goal unsuspecting victims with malware, TechCrunch has realized.

TechCrunch was alerted Wednesday to Facebook ads tied to a number of Facebook pages impersonating Clubhouse, the drop-in audio chat app solely obtainable on iPhones. Clicking on the advert would open a fake Clubhouse website, together with a mocked-up screenshot of what the non-existent PC app appears to be like like, with a obtain hyperlink to the malicious app.

When opened, the malicious app tries to speak with a command and management server to acquire directions on what to do subsequent. One sandbox evaluation of the malware confirmed the malicious app tried to contaminate the remoted machine with ransomware.

But in a single day, the fake Clubhouse web sites — which had been hosted in Russia — went offline. In doing so, the malware additionally stopped working. Guardicore’s Amit Serper, who examined the malware in a sandbox on Thursday, stated the malware acquired an error from the server and did nothing extra.

The fake website was set as much as seem like Clubhouse’s actual website, however that includes a malicious PC app. (Image: TechCrunch)

It’s not unusual for cybercriminals to tailor their malware campaigns to piggyback off the successes of wildly fashionable apps. Clubhouse reportedly topped greater than 8 million international downloads so far regardless of an invite-only launch. That excessive demand prompted a scramble to reverse-engineer the app to construct bootleg variations of it to evade Clubhouse’s gated partitions, but in addition authorities censors the place the app is blocked.

Each of the Facebook pages impersonating Clubhouse solely had a handful of likes, however had been nonetheless lively on the time of publication. When reached, Facebook wouldn’t say what number of account homeowners had clicked on the ads pointing to the fake Clubhouse web sites.

At least 9 ads had been positioned this week between Tuesday and Thursday. Several of the ads stated Clubhouse “is now available for PC,” whereas one other featured a picture of co-founders Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. Clubhouse didn’t return a request for remark.

The ads have been faraway from Facebook’s Ad Library, however we’ve revealed a copy. It’s additionally not clear how the ads made it by Facebook’s processes within the first place.


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Updated on April 10, 2021 7:58 pm

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