Malware filled camera beauty and filter apps removed from Google Play Store

Malware filled camera beauty and filter apps removed from Google Play Store
Security firm Trend Micro (via SlashGear) has found 29 "beauty camera" and camera filter apps in the Google Play Store loaded with malware inside. These apps, popular in Asia, are supposed to enhance selfies and customize photos. Instead, apps with the names of Beauty Camera, Pro Beauty Camera and Horizontal Beauty camera served full screen ads when users unlocked their phones. One of the ads, when tapped, downloaded an online porn player that didn't work even after payment from the user was accepted.

Even worse, some of the apps would then try phishing techniques in order to get personal information from users. One way this occurred was through a rigged contest that always let the device owner win. To claim the prize, the "winner" was asked for certain personal information. Other camera filter apps would allow someone to upload a picture to the developer's server to enhance. But instead of getting a final post-enhancement image, the user would receive a fake update prompt in nine languages. The app collected the photos uploaded, possibly to use on fake social media accounts.


And making it harder to delete these apps, once installed on a phone, the icons were hidden making it impossible to remove them with a simple drag to uninstall. The good news is that Google has already removed these apps. To avoid becoming a victim in the future, Trend Micro suggests that before you install any app, check the comments from other users. If you see a few warnings (see image at the bottom of this article), avoid the app like the plague.

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7 Comments

1. ahmadkun

Posts: 656; Member since: May 02, 2016

You can find Malwares in Play store more than you can find on torrent sites .. I'm joking

2. XiPingpong

Posts: 13; Member since: Jan 26, 2019

Why don't Google check, virus and malware... scan, every app before they are uploaded to the play store? Users must feel totally secure when they use Google Play store to install apps and games!

5. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Google does check them, but with algorithms. And algorithms it seems can be 'easily' fooled.

3. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Good job removing them Google but, they should have never made it there. I agree XiPin , why not check before putting in the play store.

4. pogba

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 13, 2018

Android woes....

6. shiv179

Posts: 179; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Alan, you missed out one important part. Those apps were hard to detect. The apps went out of their way to disguise their malicious nature. They'd use multiple compression archives (aka packers) to prevent analysis, and layer on thick encryption for their remote servers. Security is a cat-and-mouse game. It is great that Google caught these apps and removed them.

7. path45th

Posts: 407; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Android sounds a pretty awful experience.

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