Google deletes 29 apps that steal users’ information

San Francisco: Google has deleted 29 malicious “beauty camera” apps that were sharing pornographic content and forwarding users, particularly in India, to phishing websites to steal their information. Some of these Android apps have been downloaded millions of times and a large number of the download counts originated from Asia — particularly in India, said a report from US-based cyber security firm Trend Micro.

The apps have now been removed by Google from the Play Store. The app will push several full screen ads when users unlock their devices, including malicious ads (such as fraudulent content and pornography) that will pop up via the user’s browser.

“During our analysis, we found a paid online pornography player that was downloaded when clicking the pop up,” the report added. Some of these apps redirected to phishing websites that asked the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers.

“For example, the package com.beauty.camera.project.cloud will create a shortcut after being launched. However, it will hide its icon from the application list, making it more difficult for users to uninstall the app since they will be unable to drag and delete it,” Trend Micro noted.

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