Cybersecurity experts warn you to delete these apps that could steal your photos, videos and location

Spyware in at least two apps has compromised the data of over a million users through Google Play Store, cybersecurity experts are warning, and they could steal your information, location, videos, photos, and a whole lot more.

The two specific applications are “File Recovery & Data Recovery” and “File Manager.” Experts are urging users to delete these two compromised apps immediately from their devices, according to The Hill.

Pradeo, which is a cybersecurity firm, is reporting that the file management applications are actually “programmed to launch without users’ interaction, and to silently exfiltrate sensitive users’ data towards various malicious servers based in China.”

Both apps were created by the same developer. They steal contact lists from devices, social media, and email. The apps also pilfer photos, audio, video, real-time user location, and much more.

The two apps have been downloaded approximately 1.5 million times according to Pradeo. They have few reviews which is also suspicious and the security firm believes that the download numbers could be inflated by bots.

According to Bleepingcomputer.com, Google has confirmed that the two apps are no longer available through its store.

According to a statement from Google:

These apps have been removed from Google Play. Google Play Protect protects users from apps known to contain this malware on Android devices with Google Play Services, even when those apps come from other sources outside of Play.

 

If you still have the apps on a device, you will still have to delete them to remove the threat.

The cybersecurity firm is warning people to beware of an app that appears to have hundreds of thousands of downloads but few reviews. They are also telling users to read the reviews and app permissions carefully before downloading.

This particular warning comes just a month after another app called “iRecorder – Screen Recorder” was pulled from Google Play for secretly accessing photo libraries and creating audio recordings of users, according to experts.

“A screen recording app available in the Google Play store that was installed over 50,000 times functioned normally for months before it started spying on users, researchers say,” The Hill reported.

The app’s specific malicious behavior – exfiltrating microphone recordings and stealing files with specific extensions – tends to suggest that it is part of an espionage campaign,” Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher with cybersecurity firm ESET wrote. “However, we were not able to attribute the app to any particular malicious group.”

A security expert via The Sun is also recommending that you remove other apps that pose a significant risk to your privacy.

“One of the first apps you should erase off your phone is Facebook as it tends to track your location and use up a lot of your data. This happens because the app connects to many third-party platforms and other services on your phone,” The Sun reported.

The expert also recommended you delete QR scanners since most phones already have them.

“What’s more, these apps often collect personal information that can be intercepted by hackers,” the expert warned.

They also recommend removing apps such as Plant Monster. It can track your data including your name, address, and uploaded photos. This data can easily be sold to third parties or breached by cybercriminals. Many games also fall into this category.

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