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Technology

Google removes 29 malicious photo apps that promoted scams, stole pictures

Everybody is aware that there are certain apps out there promoting scams and stealing pictures. Google has now take
Published February 4, 2019

Everybody is aware that there are certain apps out there promoting scams and stealing pictures. Google has now taken a step to prevent malicious apps by removing 29 apps that were found promoting these things.

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro spotted some malicious Android apps in Google Play Store that were blamed to push intrusive ads, scam users, and steal content. This led to Google removing the 29 apps camera and photo apps all together that were named in the report.

The apps would push full-screen ads, including of sensitive content, when users unlocked their devices. They would also use it to run phishing scams to steal personal information under the guise of contests. Another group of camera apps were apparently meant to beautify pictures, but in real just stole the uploaded pictures and gave users a fake update prompts instead of giving them the edited pictures, reported Ars Technica.

Moreover, the apps would use several compression archives, or packers, to prevent analysis, and layer on think encryption for their remote servers. Also, the apps would hide their icons from the standard app list, making them difficult to be deleted, and also show that they weren’t linked to the ads, though they were.

“None of these apps give any indication that they are the ones behind the ads, thus users might find it difficult to determine where they’re coming from,” Trend Micro Mobile Threats Analyst Lorin Wu wrote. “Some of these apps redirect to phishing websites that ask the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers.”

Also, the apps were very popular on the Play Store too as 11 of them had been downloaded over 100,000 times, and three of them over a million times. Some of these apps included Pro Camera Beauty, Prizma Photo Effect, Wallpapers HD, and Beauty Camera.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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