If you have this app on your Android phone, delete it now

If you have this app on your Android phone, delete it now
You never know when you install an app what it eventually could drag into your phone. For example, an app in the Google Play Store called CamScanner – Phone PDF was actually a legitimate listing when it first launched. The app was used to scan documents and manage their digital likeness on a phone. But according to security research firm Kaspersky (via Tom's Guide) "However, at some point, that changed, and recent versions of the app shipped with an advertising library containing a malicious module." The researchers involved in investigating the app say that it is possible that the developer didn't even know about it.

The problem here is that this backdoor became part of the app and can launch payload from malicious servers. The report says "As a result, the owners of the module can use an infected device to their benefit in any way they see fit, from showing the victim intrusive advertising to stealing money from their mobile account by charging paid subscriptions." And since the app had been installed over 100 million times, this is a very serious matter indeed.

This malicious app has been installed 100 million times from the Google Play Store


But our early warning system worked again. As Kaspersky notes, "negative user reviews that have been left over the past month have indicated the presence of unwanted features." This is something that Android users, in particular, should do before installing an app from a developer that they are not familiar with. The odds are that you will not be the first user to install a malicious app, so check the most recent reviews; check the most recent reviews and one more time for the West Coast-check the most recent reviews. That is where you will find complaints and comments about odd experiences with an app. These are flashing red warning signs.


If you have the app on your phone, uninstall it immediately. Ironically, it appears that the backdoor had been removed from the app before Google removed the app from the Play Store. Meanwhile, another version of the app called CamScanner HD-Scanner, Fax remains in the Google Play Store and is apparently clean. It has been installed over 1 million times although at this point we'd suggest uninstalling it too. Why take a chance?

Back in February, Google said that it is blocking more malware from getting listed in the Google Play Store. But in this specific situation, the app appeared to be fine and without any issue for some time. Meanwhile, Google Play Protect is supposed to scan apps before and after you install them in an attempt to keep malware off your Android device. Google says that it scans 50 billion apps a day.


Some of the most recent malware-laden apps are nearly impossible to uninstall because the icons disappear after the app is installed. Many of them show ads in the background creating a huge payday for the bad actors. Some will send texts via paid platforms and the phone's owner won't notice anything until he or she is charged for the premium texts. To protect yourself from malicious apps, Google suggests that you refrain from sideloading apps and make sure that you stick to installing all apps "from trusted sources like the Google Play Store." Surely you see the problem with that comment. Still, we have no idea how worse this problem would be without Google Play Protect.

In the meantime, what are you going to do before installing an app from a developer you never heard of? Check the most recent reviews!

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19 Comments

1. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

"..., what are you going to do before installing an app form a developer you never heard of? Check ..." Form? You mean from? Do some proofreading before posting please.

3. Alan01

Posts: 643; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Thanks for noticing. Yes, we proofread every story but once in a while, one word is going to slip by. Happens to the best of us. Correction made. Like your profile pic of 18. Regards, Alan

4. Silva5 unregistered

Everyone makes spelling and/or grammatical errors once in a while. And yes, you can indeed miss them while proofreading. No need to be rude, it’s not the end of the world.

2. Silva5 unregistered

Welcome to Android, King of Malware.

8. Xinto_

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 29, 2019

Welcome to iOS, the king of restricted af systems

10. Georgio

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Xinto only your wallet has restrictions ; IOS is fine haha

12. Silva5 unregistered

You’re correct, Xinto_, Apple does restrict malware :)

13. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

17. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

With jailbreak iphone, no more!

16. Fred3

Posts: 583; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

As restricted iOS is they sure have been having plenty of flaws in the recent months. Y'all are actually no different.

5. LiveFaith

Posts: 493; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

I have that app and friggin love it! I guess I'll have to do the deed tho. :-\

14. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If your app is a version after August 1st, it's been updated. It was an ad provider that slipped the malware in.

6. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Oh wow are you serious, I've been using this app for the last year and a half. It was recommended by my unit conviner at Uni. Freaking Google, can't they figure this security stuff out. Yes yes yes I'm sure Apple sucks, that really helps the Android family.

11. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I've used this app for years and it's gotten better and better. Android Police have a very informative article on this and it turns out I had an infected version so I downloaded a clean one. But I never had any issues most likely because I always run a powerful adblocker. It probably also helps that my OS allows me to block data on a per app basis and Camscanner was blocked.

7. notfair

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

nice clickbaity title :)

9. djinn911

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 25, 2014

What the! I have used this app since its inception and I am glad that I opened this clickbaity titled post. I opened the app before I uninstalled it and all the documents I had in it were either related to bills or personal identity, i.e. visa, passport, forms etc. Google needs to level up their security!

15. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I have been using Adobe Scan for over a year and never looked back. CamScanner saved my ass years ago and it was one of the first providing these features, however the greedy nature of it, bunch of ads and watermark done me away to alternatives. The one from Adobe is quite good, I suggest people to check it out

18. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

This is the bad side of open flatform. Google should do an intensive task of removing these.

19. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

What's an open flatform Peaceboy?

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