Meta alerts users about mobile applications that steal passwords.

 California - A million Facebook users have forwarded a warning from Meta on Friday that they had been "exposed" to password-stealing smartphone apps that appeared to be harmless.

David Agranovich, director of the threat disruption, said at a briefing that Meta has so far this year detected more than 400 "malicious" apps made for cell phones running Apple or Android software and accessible through the Apple and Google app stores.

In order to deceive customers into installing them, these programmes were offered on the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store under false names such as picture editors, games, VPN services, business apps, and other utilities, according to a blog post by Meta.

According to Meta's security team, the applications frequently request Facebook login information from users in order to access promised features, collecting usernames and passwords in the process.

The apps, according to Agranovich, "are essentially attempting to fool individuals into filling in their login credentials in a way that allows hackers to access their accounts."

We will let a million consumers know that, while they may not have been affected, they may have come into contact with these programmes.

More than 40% of the applications that Meta identified had tools for editing or manipulating photographs, and some of them appeared to be as basic as utilising flashlight apps on cellphones.

Agranovich noted that the producers of the malicious apps are probably targeting credentials for more than just Facebook accounts when he said, "Our understanding is that these sorts of malicious software developers tend to target many services."

In order to get as many login credentials as possible, the targeting, in this case, seems to be very indiscriminate: persuade individuals to download the programmes globally.

Apple and Google, who each oversee what is sold in their respective app stores and each vet offerings, were informed of what Meta had learned, according to Meta.

Concerning whether it took any action against the programmes Meta considered harmful, Apple did not react to inquiries.

Google, however, said that the majority of the applications Meta reported had already been discovered and eliminated from the Play store by its own screening procedures.

A spokeswoman informed AFP that "all of the applications included in the study are no longer available on Google Play."