Cybersecurity experts have warned of 24 potentially dangerous Android applications, the installation of which carries significant risks for smartphone owners. It is reported that the malicious programs in question were downloaded a total of 382 million times.
The portal VPN has warned owners of Android smartphones about 24 potentially dangerous applications. It is known that the total number of downloads of these programs is 382 million times, so you need to check your device вЂ” if an application is installed on it from the list, it is recommended to remove it immediately.
According to the study, all 24 applications are associated with the Chinese company Shenzhen HAWK, which, in turn, is a division of TLC Corporation вЂ” a major electronics manufacturer from China with state participation.
The portal VPN indicates that these applications request a large number of permissions that are not necessary for the successful operation of these services. So, games, voice recorders, and smartphone cleaning programs ask the owner of the device to allow them to make calls, take photos and shoot videos, record audio, etc.
The portal suggests that these applications can spy on users and send their personal data to China.
In addition, it is known that earlier applications from Shenzhen HAWK were already accused of spreading malware infecting devices with spyware, which is also an alarming call for those who use these programs.
Among the dangerous applications that could pose a threat to users were Sound Recorder, Super Cleaner, Virus Cleaner 2019, File Manager, Joy Launcher, Turbo Browser, Weather Forecast, Candy Selfie Camera, Hi VPN, Free VPN, Candy Gallery, Calendar Lite, Super Battery, Hi Security 2019, Net Master, Puzzle Box, Private Browser. Hi VPN Pro, World Zoo, Word Crossy, Soccer Pinball, Dig it, Laser Break, Music Roam and Word Crush.
VPNpro assumes that the above applications collect a large amount of information about users, in order to subsequently sell it to third parties without the knowledge of those who own this data.
The portal notes that geolocation is most valued on the market вЂ” modern tools determine the location of the smartphone owner, accurate to the floor of the building in which he lives or works.
Application developers make a lot of money trading geolocation data вЂ” for example, one company pays $4 per month for a thousand active monthly users. This means that if the application has a million active users, then it receives about $4 thousand per month. If we recall that often services collect not only geolocation but also a lot of other data, then this amount grows significantly.
Sometimes unscrupulous application developers ask the user for a large number of permissions in order to subsequently use the information received for illegal purposes вЂ” for example, to infect devices with viruses that allow them to gain complete control over the smartphone.
In this case, the attackers will be able to download the user's contact list, private messages, photos and videos that can later be sold on the black market.
It is reported that the VPNpro study was directed to Google, which promptly responded to the threat and removed all 24 applications from the Play Store. вЂњWe take security and possible threats to privacy very seriously. If we encounter behavior that violates our rules, we take measures, вЂќ the press service of the IT giant said.