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Android iMessage app spoofs Apple servers, may be harvesting data

updated 01:28 pm EDT, Tue September 24, 2013

Traffic funnels through Chinese server

An app hosted on Google Play is letting Android users communicate with people on iOS or Mac devices over iMessage, reports note. Simply dubbed iMessage Chat, the app appears to work by pretending to be a Mac mini when it contacts Apple's iMessage server. It may potentially be dangerous though, since users have to enter their Apple ID, all traffic received from Apple is funneled through a server in China, and the app has the ability to download and install software in the background, which could potentially be a vector for malware.

iMessage is a proprietary Apple chat platform meant to be exclusive to iOS and OS X. That normally forces people to turn to alternative networks if they want cross-platform chat, such as AIM, Skype, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp. Some apps on the App Store support multiple networks for this reason.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Tralthamidor

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-07

    This article is a bit vague. It is only dangerous for the Android user correct? The Mac iMessage users don't have to log in again as they already have.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-07-07

    I wish Apple would open up the iMessage platform to other devices, even if on a limited basis. That would eliminate the need for other services. Make it ad supported on non Apple devices, and you've got a winner.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'd love it if Apple offered a FaceTime for Windows (MS would never allow it because it would destroy Skype), but Satan will be ice-skating to work on the day that iMessage comes to Android.

  1. Bittyson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-21-11

    Non-Apple, but enter Apple ID? "May be dangerous" - ya think?

  1. _Rick_V_

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-21-03

    @ Tralthamidor–
    Yes, it's only dangerous to Android users, since it's using questionable servers in China to route the messages to Apple's servers. Mac and iPhone users are unaffected.

    @ Bjojade–
    While I agree and wish for the same thing, I suspect it will never happen. Apple wants to keep this locked up as a iOS & MacOS feature. The funny thing is, when Steve Jobs first announced iMessage for iPhone, he said in the keynote that Apple was going to open-source their technology. Then they quietly decided not to.

    @ chas_m –
    MS would not block iMessage for Windows. Just like they don't block Googletalk or any other facetime-like app. Just like Apple doesn't block Skype from Mac or even iPhone.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    Tralthamidor: Sure it's dangerous. That app can steal your Apple ID and password.

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