If you‘ve been using AppLinked to watch free movies and TV shows on your Fire TV or Android device, stop what you‘re doing and uninstall it right now.
This popular sideloading app has recently been flagged with severe security threats that put your data and privacy at risk.
What is AppLinked and Why Was it Popular?
For those unfamiliar, AppLinked is an app that lets you install unlimited apps, games, and addons containing movies, shows, live TV, sports and more for free.
It essentially provides easy access to pirated content, similar to the now defunct FileLinked app.
After FileLinked was taken down earlier this year, AppLinked quickly took its place. It amassed over 500,000 users in just a few months.
Many cord-cutters were using it as an easy source of premium video content without paying anything. But this recent security exposure shows it‘s simply not safe anymore.
Alarming Virus Scan Results
According to investigation by the team at Troypoint, the latest version of AppLinked is infected with an alarming amount of malware.
They scanned the app using VirusTotal, which runs antivirus checks with over 60 tools. The results showed 15 out of the 63 files in AppLinked contained threats or malware. That‘s nearly 25% of the app!
Some of the specific dangers found include:
For comparison, Troypoint scanned an older version of AppLinked from before the issues emerged. This clean version passed flawlessly with 0 infections detected.
This makes it abundantly clear that the new owners have tampered with the code and inserted malware intentionally in the latest update.
Uninstall AppLinked Immediately to Avoid Severe Risks
With this sheer volume of malicious files, AppLinked poses severe cybersecurity risks that are not worth taking.
Some of the potential dangers of keeping it installed include:
Identity theft – Any malware with spying capabilities could harvest your login details, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive personal data. Once in the hands of cybercriminals, this information could be used to steal your identity or drain your bank account.
Hacked accounts – Similar to above, the malware could gather login credentials and provide hackers access to your streaming service accounts, social media, email, and other platforms holding your private information.
Bricked devices – If the viruses decide to delete system files or corrupt your firmware, they could essentially brick and destroy your Fire TV, Android box or other devices. At best, this causes annoying crashes and glitches. At worst, it requires a complete factory reset or new device.
Costly damages – Ransomware threats detected could encrypt your files until you pay a ransom. And crypto-mining malware runs clandestine crypto mining operations that spike your electric bill.
Legal issues – Law enforcement is cracking down on piracy apps, so getting caught with an app full of illegal copied content poses legal risks as well.
While you may have enjoyed the free movies, protecting your privacy and security is much more valuable. You don‘t want to compromise your personal data or destroy your device just to watch a season of Stranger Things!
Safer AppLinked Alternatives
The good news is AppLinked is not the only option. There are other sideloading apps that provide access to APK files without severe security flaws.
The Troypoint team recommends Unlinked as the best AppLinked alternative. Scans confirm the Unlinked code is completely clean without any malware detected.
Unlinked offers a similar sideloading experience without the viruses. It has a slick modern design and regularly adds new apps and updates too.
Besides Unlinked, a few other reputable options include:
- Downloader – Clean sideloading app with wide APK selection.
- Mobdro – Specializes in live TV channels from around the world.
- Kshaw – Trusted app for movie and TV streaming APKs.
The key when sideloading is sticking with apps from developers who focus on security and actively maintain their code. Some additional tips:
- Scan APK files yourself before installing with antivirus tools like Malwarebytes
- Avoid sketchy apps with lots of pirated premium content for free
- Only install APKs from trustworthy sources like the examples above
- Use a VPN to keep your streaming and sideloading activities private
And consider whether sideloading is worth the risks at all. The most secure option is to stick with official app stores like Amazon or Google Play where apps are thoroughly vetted.
I hope this information helps protect your privacy and security. Please share this warning with anyone else still using AppLinked so they can stay safe!
The bottom line is AppLinked can no longer be trusted. If you have it, remove it today to avoid becoming the next victim of this malware. Your personal data is far too valuable, so don‘t compromise it for any app.
Stay smart out there and happy streaming!