Avoid at all costs the iMessage Chat app in the Play Store

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September 24, 2013
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    imessage chat Android

    There’s an “iMessage Chat” app in the Play Store that allows Android users to chat with users of Apple’s popular messaging service. However, the massive security risks it poses outweigh its benefits.

    Developed by one Daniel Zweigart, iMessage Chat emulates the design of Apple’s iOS and OS X apps, and spoofs a Mac Mini device to enable compatibility with Apple’s service. In other words, the app is telling Apple’s servers that the Android device it’s running on is actually a Mac.

    There are some worrying problems with this unofficial iMessage for Android app though. Chiefly, the app sends the info you type in to a server in China, which then tells the phone what to relay to Apple.

    Jay Freeman (Saurik), the creator of the Cydia platform, speculates that the developer might even have access to the Apple credentials, which can cause all kind of security headaches to hapless users.

    Another major problem is that iMessage Chat has the permission to download and install APKs in the background, exposing users to rootkits and other forms of malware.

    For what is worth, the app seem to work as advertised for many users, though some have complained in the reviews that they can’t log in.

    The security risks posed by iMessage Chat are simply too high to justify using it, especially with so many cross-platform messaging services available, from Whatsapp to Google’s own Hangouts.

    Regardless of the security risks, the app clearly violates Google’s revised guidelines for app developers, which state that apps are prohibited from infringing copyrights and posing as apps from other companies.

    Clearly, that’s one area where Google needs to improve. The recent botched launch of BBM for Android was embarrassing for Google from this perspective, with close to two dozen fake BBM apps in the Play Store trying to trick users into downloading them.

    Comments

    • RarestName

      Google is, according to others, fast at taking down fakes.

      • CPVideoMaker101

        In my experiences with the play store and the app store. The play store is filled with fakes and clones of apps. Also, many apps have excessive ads and other stuff. The play store needs some serious revamping.

        • lesportif

          True, but that’s the price for being open-minded. Choose your poison !

          • CPVideoMaker101

            No, that is the price of easy piracy. If it wasn’t for the easy piracy on android, there would be much higher quality apps.

            • Hoola

              Copying of software, even illegal copying, is not piracy. Pirates deprive owners of the thing being stolen. Illegal *COPYING* does not. There’s theft, and there’s copyright violation. They have different names because they are different things. That had been understood for over a century until people like the MPAA and RIAA started their propaganda and confusing people like you.

            • CPVideoMaker101

              The easiness of cracking apps and installing them on android is costing the quality of apps. Also adblock.

    • Jason Bailey

      Clever programing mind… Might be ok if you block the permissions with a seperate app, but probably not worth teh risks all in all. :-)

    • RaptorOO7

      From the info in the article, it’s not a fake it is just making Apple think the message comes from an mac. However it does pose big security risks and should not be used. Why does it need to d/l apk’s in the background, not necessary.

      Permissions has always been one of the key issues I have had with Android over the last 4 years. Apps ask for permission to things that make absolutely no sense for what the app itself does.

      • APai

        ” Apps ask for permission to things that make absolutely no sense for what the app itself does.”
        roger that. I find it astounding that google has not evolved an effective mechanism to control what an app has been doing , something like LBE does. there could be a dumb mode and an advanced mode if they have headaches with app permissions. other platforms too aren’t too safe, although apple has done a bit on that front.

    • not a spark

      I’m using this and its working fine, I am using an apple ID just for this and have disabled some of its permissions with lucky patcher so so far so good.

      • Charlie Brown

        thanks for the the lucky patcher idea

        • George Av

          I’d like to know that too

      • A.M

        But to the normal android user how would they protect there selves

      • Cal Rankin

        is lucky patcher a root app?

        • View From The Top

          Yes it is :-)

      • Jonathan Sosa

        could you post the apk somewhere? i really need it so i can talk to my family members who dont have a phone

    • Jeff Moreira

      Stupid question but, wouldn’t it be a flaw with Apple’s system as it accepts messages from a third party app?
      What happens if someone develops an “emulator” just to spam random Apple users with malware?

      My point is, why would someone have the trouble to create an app if the developer could spam messages directly to Apple users with links to some sh*t that could take personal information for example.

      • lesportif

        Maybe the need for valid Apple ID helps ?

    • Fox Ray

      I read about this on some Apple blogs, every one of them warning Android users not to install it due to the risk of malware being installed on their Android devices.

      Thats why I call getting along with each others …

    • lil bit

      Why on earth would we want to talk with Apple users in the first place?

      • deff

        Because not all of us are myopic zealots?

        • NeedName

          “Not all apples users are myopic zealots,” you say. . . haven’t met the one that isn’t yet.

          /s

          • CPVideoMaker101

            Apple user here, would you happen to explain myopic zealots for me? :)

            • CrAppleJinxer

              Myopic zealots are people that can easily be compared to Religious Groups of Believers who are told to drink it’s flavored Kool-aide to join their dearly beloved leader in heaven. They all drink up, but wake up in hell instead. Having no foresight to see the Kool-aide they were being fed was actually poison and so they’d violated their own religion’s commandments! …..making just another group like Jonestown Massacre or that whacked group in San Diego who all drank the Kool-aide and died too!!!

              So Myopic meaning closed or imaginary viewpoint, held under microscope to prevent it’s members from accessing greater amounts of knowledge out in the REAL WORLD!

              Zealots are those who believe they’ve seen the true light and all other lights are black compared to their White!

            • CPVideoMaker101

              So irrational people? Okay. Sounds like “Accept Jesus and you’ll be saved” type of bull shit. thank you.

      • lesportif

        Congratulations. Best stupid fanboy comment of the day !

        • View From The Top

          Apparently, grasping the concept of a little tongue-in-cheek sarcasm is too much to ask for from Apple fanboys.

    • Fantastico

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

      • Kumaran

        like Apple did with Nokia for their 5s?

        • Fox Ray

          I think you mean the 5C, but before you accuse Apple of copying Nokia, maybe you should just type the words ‘iPod Color add’ in Google, maybe you will get an idea of where Nokia got its imagination in the first place ;)

          • CPVideoMaker101

            The idea actually came from the iMac G3.

            • Fox Ray

              I doubt that Nokia used the G3 for their imagination, unless they are translucent.

            • CPVideoMaker101

              i meant that apple get their ideas from birth colorful gadgets from the iMac G3. Jony Ive designed both.

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