29 apps removed by Google were stealing pics

Malicious Apps
Google remvoed 29 malicious apps

Google has removed 29 apps from Play Store after they were found to be stealing pics and showing porn ads. The apps were also found to display phishing and scam ads.

The researchers at Trend Micro found that they were all disguised as a “beauty camera” apps and have been downloaded over 4.3 million times with the majority of downloads originating in India. The apps ask the users to upload their pictures in order to beautify them, however instead of beautifying the picture it displays various fake prompts as a diversion.

malicious apps stealing pics
All of the malicious apps were disguised as Beauty Camera Apps

Malicious, tricky and full of ads

The apps are designed to be tricky and it doesn’t make itself apparent to the users immediately. Trend Micro researcher’s analysis on one of the apps showed that it hid itself from the applications list so users couldn’t uninstall it easily.

The apps also pushed full-screen apps everytime users unlocked the phone, including pornography and scams. The users will be lured with ads to pay for certain services, however, after payment, nothing would happen.

The apps would also ask for personally identifiable information as well and redirect the users to phising websites.

 Figure 3. Screenshots of the pop-up ads. The Chinese text in the middle screenshot is an announcement that the user has won an iPhone X. Clicking OK on the pop ups will bring up a phishing website
Several apps redirected users to phishing websites.

List of the malicious apps

PackageLabelInstalls Camera Beauty1,000,000+ Art Photo1,000,000+
com.lyrebirdstudio.emoji_cameraEmoji Camera1,000,000+ effect Filter500,000+
art.filter.editor.imgeArt Editor100,000+ Camera100,000+
com.selfie.camerapro.proSelfie Camera Pro100,000+ Beauty Camera100,000+ Camera100,000+ Effects for Photo100,000+ Cartoon Art100,000+
com.photoeditor.artfilterphotoArt Filter Photo50,000+
com.photocorner.artfilter.arteffect.prizmaArt Filter Photo Effcts10,000+
com.picfix.cartoonphotoeffectsCartoon Effect10,000+
com.picsartitude.arteffectArt Effect10,000+
com.csmart.photoframelabPhoto Editor5,000+ HD5,000+
com.perfectmakeup.magicartfilter.photoeditor.selfiecameraMagic Art Filter Photo Editor5,000+
appworld.fillartphotoeditor.technologyFill Art Photo Editor1,000+
com.artphoto.artfilter.artpiczoneArt Filter1,000+
com.photoeditor.cartoonphotoCartoon Art Photo1,000+
com.photoeditor.prismaeffectsPrizma Photo Effect1,000+
com.cmds.artphotofiltereffectCartoon Art Photo Filter100+
com.latestnewappzone.photoartfiltereditorArt Filter Photo Editor100+
app.pixelworlds.arteffectArt Effect50+
timepassvideostatus.photoarteffect.cartoonpainteffectPhoto Art Effect10+
com.techbuzz.cartoonfilterCartoon Photo Filter5+

Source: Trend Micro Blog

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