Google slashes dozens of malicious photo-stealing apps from PlayStore


Search engine giant Google has recently made efforts to clean up its PlayStore with the malicious apps that steal photographs from Android. In recent times, Apple has been kept a tight control over its App Store while Google has been relatively liberal with what is being offered on its Store. A report from a cyber security firm has said that it has found a batch of 29 photo and selfie related apps that have so far been acting maliciously towards the users who installed them.

Some of the malicious activities include money-making tactics like serving inappropriate and fraudulent full-screen ads when the users unlock their devices and that potentially leads to more activities like stealing photos of the users and uploading them to an external server. But the worst part is that the majority of the apps have been downloaded about thousands of times. Three of them have been installed more than a million times each.

The cybersecurity firm added that a large number of such downloads occurred in Asia, especially in India where the photo-related apps are becoming popular everyday. Many of these apps have made use of the tricks to hide the app icon so that it makes it more difficult to uninstall it. Moreover, when a pop-up ad appears, there is no indication that a particular app is responsible behind it. The majority of the full-screen ad make use of the pop-up scam tricks with text that claims that the users have won something big and it usually is an iPhone.

In some cases it poses as a commercial adult service , but when the user clicks on the link, it leads to a phishing scam where the users are asked to enter their details to claim their price. Some of the apps that are found to be malicious include Pro Camera Beauty, Emoji Camera, Cartoon Art Photo, Art Editor, Beauty Camera, Selfie Camera Pro and others.

Photo Credits: Cult of Mac

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