Fake THREADS App Climbs to Number 1 Spot on Apple Store in Europe

Due to privacy concerns, Meta has not yet released the Threads app in EU countries, creating a loophole for criminals to upload fake versions of the app.
Fake THREADS App Climbs to Number 1 Spot on Apple Store in Europe

Apple has removed the fake THREADS app from the European App Store, ending its top position as the number 1 iOS app until July 11, 2023, when it was reported.

In a recent development, Apple has taken down a fake version of the popular Threads app from its App Store in Europe. The fake app, developed by SocialKit LTD, had been soaring up the charts of the most downloaded apps. However, thanks to the diligent work of cybersecurity firm and iOS developer Mysk, the fraudulent app has been exposed and removed, and the developer’s account has been suspended.

Among the apps created by SocialKit LTD that have been removed are ChatGP, SelfMe: Selfie AI Face Editor, and Remove Background Eraser, among others. The fakeThreads app had gained significant traction, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, where it had claimed the number one position in the App Store rankings.

Fake THREADS App Climbs to Number 1 Spot on Apple Store in Europe
Fake app topping in EU countries (Screenshots via Mysk – Twitter)

The original Threads app, launched by Meta as a competitor to Twitter, has garnered more than 100 million downloads worldwide since its release earlier this month. However, the app has yet to be made available in the European Union due to the bloc’s stringent privacy laws.

This absence has created an opportunity for cybercriminals to capitalize on the demand by producing counterfeit apps and employing over 700 phoney domain names in a single day, according to a report.

Mysk, in a tweet, highlighted the concerning statistics regarding the genuine app’s absence in the European market. They stated, “Statistically, exactly 0% of iOS users looking for Threads in the EU have downloaded the right app. If app sideloading was possible, the percentage of EU users downloading the right app would certainly be greater than 0%.”

Cybersecurity analyst Veriti warns users, especially those in Europe, to exercise caution when downloading knock-off versions of Threads, as they often serve as conduits for malware or phishing attacks. It is crucial to obtain the app from trusted sources and exercise due diligence at all times.

While the fraudulent Threads app has been removed from the European App Store, similar bogus apps have also been detected on other platforms. Before the official launch of Instagram’s Threads on July 6, several impersonating apps were circulating on the Google Play Store, prompting Google to eventually remove them.

Nevertheless, ChatGPT’s official app for iPhone has already been released, while its Android app could soon be available on the Google Play Store.

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