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Google bans 29 apps that may have stolen your photos

Google bans 29 apps that may have stolen your photos

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
com.beauty.camera.years.pro Pro Camera Beauty 1.000.000+
Com.cartoon.art.photo.ygy.camera Cartoon Art Photo 1.000.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- proudly presents Emoji Camera 1.000.000+
art.eff.filter.photo.editor Artistic effect filter 500.000+
art.filter.editor.imge Art Editor 100.000+
<font color="#ffff00">-==- sync:ßÇÈâÈâ beauty camera 100.000+
com.selfie.camerapro.pro Selfie Camera Pro 100.000+
com.camera.beauty.kwok.horizon Horizon Beauty Camera 100.000+
com.camera.ygysuper.photographer. 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+
appworld.fillartphotoeditor.technology 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?

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