Don’t Let These Apps Fool You! Google Takes Down 29 Malicious Apps

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There is plenty number of beauty camera apps on Google Play Store. Most of these apps users are motivated by the selfie craze that refuses to die out. But these apps don’t just help you fool your followers with that popping selfie.

However, there is also a huge risk in downloading them, the problem was highlighted last month by US-based cybersecurity firm Trend Micro discovering “several” of them capable of accessing remote ad configuration servers that can be used for malicious purposes, including stealing information and scamming users.

In fact, Google has deleted 29 malicious “beauty camera” apps that were sharing pornographic content and forwarding users to phishing websites to steal their information. Some of these apps like Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo and Emoji Camera had been downloaded over a million times, which is unsurprising given the popularity of such apps. According to the statistics, a large number of the download counts originated from Asia, particularly in India.

According to the firm, a user downloading such malicious apps will not suspect anything is amiss until he/she decides to delete the app. After the user downloads these apps, they will create a shortcut after being launched. Also, the app will automatically hide its icon from the application list, making it more difficult for users to uninstall the app.

Not just that, but these ads also come with plenty of ads that keep popping use while the user is using the app. The users would have to deal with several full-screen ads on unlocking their devices, including fraudulent content and pornography popping up via their browsers.

Some of these apps redirect to phishing websites that ask the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers,” said Trend Micro. “During our analysis, we found a paid online pornography player that was downloaded when clicking the pop-up.” Apart from beauty camera apps, the firm reportedly found a batch of photo filter-related apps that share similar behaviour on Google Play.

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