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Dangerous Facebook app trolling for superuser access to your device

Dangerous Facebook app trolling for superuser access to your device

Here at Komando.com, we constantly remind you about the dangers of downloading and installing apps from unofficial sources. Always get your apps from official sources like Google Play, we always say.

And you probably do. By putting your trust in legitimate apps, you are mighty confident that you're safe from harm and nothing out of the ordinary should happen, right? In most cases, yes.

But not exactly. As a growing number of smartphone users have noted, this legitimate Google Play app is asking for more access than it deserves. Read on and I'll tell why this seemingly tiny detail can be dangerous.

Facebook wants to be superuser!

A number of Facebook users noticed something peculiar on Friday morning. Taking their concerns to Twitter and Reddit, they reported that the official Facebook Android app was asking for "superuser" permissions to their phones.

Yep, like some kind of Android malware, the Facebook app was asking for root access to their phones "forever."

Mind you, this is the real Facebook app from the Google Play store and not some side-loaded application.

We always warn you about malicious apps that ask for "superuser" access since granting such administrative privileges could allow hackers to take over your phone.

Legitimate apps shouldn't ever ask for "superuser" access to your Android phone so this request is quite odd considering it's coming from the official Facebook app.

Understandably, amidst the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and all the data privacy concerns that currently dog Facebook, affected users are confused and terrified about the unexpected request.

Here are some Twitter posts we found:

Apparently, this is not the first time this has happened. A Reddit post on May 9 also reported that the Facebook app superuser popup occurred while on the beta channel.

This suggests that the superuser requests started showing up on version 172.0.0.12.93 and the recent popups came with version 172.0.0.66.93.

What is happening?

Has the Facebook app suddenly gone rogue?

According to Bleeping Computer, several security researchers are pointing to coding errors as the culprit.

Avast's Nikolaos Chrysaidos suggested that a certain SDK called WhiteOps may be causing the superuser request. This SDK is embedded in the Facebook app and it's used for detecting fraud and website blacklists.

In the meantime, until Facebook fixes this little "glitch," please deny its request and uninstall the Facebook app from your Android phone for now.

How about you? Have you seen this dangerous Facebook app superuser request on your Android phone lately? Drop us a comment!

6 great Facebook replacement apps

Thankfully, Facebook isn’t the only game in town. There are rival social networks and messaging apps that can still keep you connected. Click here to learn more about them.

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