Hot topics

Google bans 29 apps that may have stolen your photos

androidpit play store 2
© nextpit

Editing photos on your smartphone is now quick and easy, thanks to numerous photo apps. But apparently, there were also some applications on the Google Play Store that were after your pictures.

The security company Trend Micro has found 29 apps in the Play Store aimed at generating user traffic and stealing their photos. Meanwhile, Google has removed the fraudulent apps from the Play Store, but they have been downloaded millions of times before and have already done a lot of damage.

The apps are listed in the Security Center as "AndroidOS_BadCamera.HRX" and are initially inconspicuous immediately after installation. A little later, however, some of them download fraudulent or pornographic content and show it as a full-frame display when unlocking the smartphone. Others try to lure users to counterfeit websites to get personal information.

malicious camera beauty apps trend micro 01
Many of the apps did not offer the advertised feature at all and instead requested an update to actually download more malware. / © Trend Micro

Furthermore, the apps upload the images of users to private servers if they want to apply a filter to a photo using the photo editing app, for example. Since this function is usually not included at all, the user gets an error message that he should download an update for the app. Also, some free video players were among the suspicious apps.

How did the apps get onto the Play Store?

As Trend Micro's detailed analysis shows, the apps have flown under the radar of Google's Play Protect security system by hiding the malicious code in encrypted packages. In addition, they had been coded twice using the Base64 method.

Am I affected?

Along with the malware analysis, Trend Micro has of course also published a list of apps that you can use to check if you might be affected:

These are the malfunctioning apps

Packet Name app name installations Pro Camera Beauty 1.000.000+ Cartoon Art Photo 1.000.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- proudly presents Emoji Camera 1.000.000+ Artistic effect filter 500.000+
art.filter.editor.imge Art Editor 100.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- sync:ßÇÈâÈâ beauty camera 100.000+ Selfie Camera Pro 100.000+ Horizon Beauty Camera 100.000+ Super Camera 100.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- sync:ßÇÈâÈâ Art Effects for Photo 100.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- sync:ßÇÈâÈâ Awesome Cartoon Art 100.000+
com.photoeditor.artfilterphoto Type Filter Photo 50.000+
com.photocorner.artfilter.arteffect.prizma Art Filter Photo Effcts 10.000+
com.picfix.cartoonphotoeffects cartoon effect 10.000+
<font color=#38B0DE>-==- Proudly Presents art effect 10.000+
com.csmart.photoframelab photo editor 5.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- proudly presents Wallpapers HD 5.000+
com.perfectmakeup.magicartfilter.photoeditor.selfiecamera Magic Art Filter Photo Editor 5.000+ Fill Art Photo Editor 1.000+
com.artflipphotoediting ArtFlipPhotoEditing 1.000+
com.artphoto.artfilter.artpiczone kind of filter 1.000+
com.photoeditor.cartoonphoto Cartoon Art Photo 1.000+
com.photoeditor.prismaeffects Prizma Photo Effect 1.000+
com.cmds.artphotofiltereffect Cartoon Art Photo Filter 100+
com.latestnewappzone.photoartfiltereditor Art Filter Photo Editor 100+
com.livewallpaperstudio.pixture fixture 100+
app.pixelworlds.arteffect art effect 50+
timepassvideostatus.photoarteffect.cartoonpainteffect Photo Art Effect 10+
com.techbuzz.cartoon filter Cartoon Photo Filter 5+

However, as Trend Micro once again points out, almost all malware apps also had negative ratings, which should serve as a clear indication to other users against downloading them. The advice of the security company is, therefore, the same: "Read ratings first!" Here it is particularly noticeable if an app has a particularly large number of 5 and 1-star ratings in equal measure.

Did you get it? Did you have one of the malware apps on your smartphone?

 The Best Portable Projectors in 2024

  The best choice The best value for money The best for less The all-rounder The challenger The best laser TV
Image Xgimi Halo+ Product Image Dangbei Neo Product Image Technaxx TX-127 Product Image Samsung Freestyle Product Image Nebula Anker Capsule 3 Laser Product Image Formovie Theater Product Image

To find out more, browse through our comprehensive Portable Projectors buying guide.

Go to comment (3)
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • Albin Foro 30
    Albin Foro Feb 4, 2019 Link to comment

    Generally trust Play Store for this stuff, but since I have an anti-malware app (BitDefender) for APKs, that also scans Play Store installations, I'd be curious if third-party products were detecting these culprits. That has been the case for some past malware.

    Craig Lewis

  • Rusty Harris 33
    Rusty Harris Feb 4, 2019 Link to comment

    Google didn't like the competition of "borrowing" user data ;)

    Deactivated Accountitprolonden

    • 25
      Deactivated Account Feb 5, 2019 Link to comment

      Exactly :-)

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing