As per Indian cyber experts, Chinese apps were illegally and secretly harvesting vast amounts of personally identifiable user information and sending it to China. The data gathered by these apps could be used to identify, profile and track users in India, which raises serious privacy and security concerns for 130+ crore Indian users. Consequently, government of India had evoked Section 69 of Information Technology Act, to block these apps from operating in the Indian cyber space.
Section 69 of IT Act:
Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource:
(1) Where the Central Government or any of its officer specially authorized by it in this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.
TikTok Pro Application:
Since Tik Tok had a very large user base in India, running into several crores, numerous users are actively looking for alternate ways to run Tik Tok app in India. And scammers are using the desperation as bait to make user download malicious apps and soft-wares.
A fake news is being circulated by malicious elements that TikTok app is now available as TikTok pro in India. The fake news has made its way not only on WhatsApp but also on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.
Further to complete their nefarious designs, criminals provide a fake link to download the malicious Tik Tok Pro application on the devices.
The following observations have been made on the basis of app look and logo, poor grammer and app unavailability on the trusted sources:
Enjoy TikTok Videos and also make Creative Videos again. Now Tiktok is only Available in (Tiktok pro) So Download from below.
Link : http://tiny.cc/TiktokPro
In the first sentence, TikTok app name is written as Tiktok (lowercase letter has been used for TikTok). The letter V in Videos and C in Creative has been capitalized unnecessarily. Similarly, in the net sentence A in Available, S is So and D in Download has been wrongly capitalized. Finally word “in” has been wrongly used in place of “as”
The Malicious Link:
On clicking the link http://tiny.cc/TikTokPro a malicious APK is immediately installed of size 2.2 MB having the name Tiktok_pro.apk. The installed APK file specifies it’s source as https://githubusercontent.com/legitprime/10gb/master/Tiktok_pro.apk
However, when clicked on the link, the following message is displayed “The site can’t be reached”.