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.
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
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
Artistic effect filter
Selfie Camera Pro
Horizon Beauty Camera
Art Effects for Photo
Awesome Cartoon Art
Type Filter Photo
Art Filter Photo Effcts
Magic Art Filter Photo Editor
Fill Art Photo Editor
Art Flip Photo Editing
kind of filter
Cartoon Art Photo
Prizma Photo Effect
Cartoon Art Photo Filter
Photo Art Effect
Cartoon Photo Filter