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CamScanner app with 100 million downloads contains malware

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Once again, the Google Play Store is being called out. This is an app called CamScanner in which malware was discovered. The app, downloaded more than 100 million times, contained in its most recent version a "Trojan-Dropper" virus.

It was via a report from the security editor Kaspersky that the malware was exposed. CamScanner, an Android application that allows the creation of PDF files, housed the malicious virus.

"CamScanner was actually a legitimate app, with no malicious intensions whatsoever, for quite some time. It used ads for monetization and even allowed in-app purchases. However, at some point, that changed, and recent versions of the app shipped with an advertising library containing a malicious module."

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Kaspersy calls this type of malware a "Trojan-Dropper". In practice, Trojan-Dropper software is designed to secretly install malware embedded in its code on victims' computers and is used to secretly install Trojans. "For example, an app with this malicious code may show intrusive ads and sign users up for paid subscriptions," says Kaspersky. The problem had even been reported by several users of the app in comments on the Play Store, with many citing "suspicious behavior".

As soon as it was alerted, Google deleted the app from the Play Store. The developers also removed the malware from the application code during the last update.

A recurring problem in the Play Store

This case is yet another reminder of Google's difficulty in correctly filtering the new applications available on its app store. The Mountain View firm may be making efforts in this area, but it still does not seem to be able to offer the same security as iOS and its App Store. As a result, one such case is revealed almost every month. If the application store offers greater freedom for developers to publish their application, it should be able to avoid this type of inconvenience, especially in the case of application updates that already have millions of downloads.

Source: Kaspersky

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Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined AndroidPIT.fr to be the head of content.

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10 comments
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  • Dean Liensdorf 34
    Dean Liensdorf Sep 1, 2019 Link to comment

    I'm just a little disappointed by this since I had paid for the full version and now it's in the trash. When I started using it I thought it was great but haven't used it in awhile. Just wondering where this all went wrong. Fortunately I have a good security program on my phone. When things go wrong with software at work we joke about how it's a feature, but IMO this is no joking matter. Just my two pfennig.

    Deactivated Account


  • 25
    Deactivated Account Aug 30, 2019 Link to comment

    I use Tiny Scanner 😊😊.
    Dumped Cam Scanner long back because of malpractices of the developer.

    Deactivated AccountDean Liensdorf


  • 46
    Deactivated Account Aug 30, 2019 Link to comment

    If you do not have a good anti virus app on your phone in this day and age, your looking for problems. A good payed for one are the best in my opinion. I do not trust the free ones or want the ads that come with them.

    Dean Liensdorf


    • 25
      Deactivated Account Aug 31, 2019 Link to comment

      Mark Sir I am using Bitdefender Premium Antivirus on my Android smartphone running Android 9.0 Pie with the latest security patch of August. Sir my smartphone is having only high quality premium apps and games, I have subscribed to import services and use TunnelBear VPN. I also use Bitwarden Password manager and I never visit bad websites because I am a good boy. 😊😊

      Deactivated Account


      • 46
        Deactivated Account Sep 2, 2019 Link to comment

        I use Nord VPN I have better speeds with it here in the Philippines, Norton 360 for my anti virus and like you only premium apps. As far as been good well most of the time ;)


  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Aug 30, 2019 Link to comment

    was not every app supposed to have been scanned and be safe?

    Deactivated AccountDean Liensdorf


  • 49
    storm Aug 29, 2019 Link to comment

    No virus search is foolproof. You can't rely on Google or Apple to guarantee security perfection. Vigilance and self responsibility are part of the deal.

    Dean LiensdorfDeactivated Account


  • Kuzmanow 6
    Kuzmanow Aug 29, 2019 Link to comment

    I've been using the free version of the app for a long time. It helped me a lot with scanning all kinds of documents. I've never had any problems, and now I'm pretty surprised 😯.

    Dean Liensdorf


  • Rusty Harris 33
    Rusty Harris Aug 29, 2019 Link to comment

    but but but...the play store always pops up and says they have scanned the apps and all is good. You mean Google is wrong sometimes??? LOL

    Deactivated AccountDean Liensdorf


  • 49
    storm Aug 29, 2019 Link to comment

    Scanning to pdf is pretty worthless anyway. It's just a wrapped jpg. You can't reuse the content easily. And I can send a picture without needing an app. Text Scanner [OCR] gives good text conversion with a data/wifi connection. A bit ad heavy but it's free and gives you the actual content to work with. Take the picture even off line and process it later when you have an internet connection.

    I've only used it for English OCR so I can't comment on how it processes other languages.

    Dean Liensdorfmarco sarli

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