It is a common practice by some people to cover their laptop webcams. They are often called paranoid, but what if I told you the threat is real? Some software can be used to hijack your webcam or even a phone’s camera. It doesn’t mean that they will turn on your camera remotely but that they might get access to your files without your knowledge.
On Android PlayStore, Developers can upload an app without any strict scrutiny. This lack of scrutiny allows some developers to hide malware in their apps. And a research team at CyberNews proved this recently.
The team was investigating some beauty apps available in the store. We all have used these random beauty apps once in a while without knowing the risk. A user might find it fun to use such an app to edit a photo and share it with their friends. However, they remain oblivious to the fact that these apps are stealing and selling your data on the side, might take you to phishing websites, and could be outright spying on you.
On searching the Play Store, the team found not just one but quite a few apps that are malware. The horrifying fact is that one such app has over 300 million downloads. The app was sending user data back to a server in China from where it was being sold.
Most of these apps originate from China, and more often than not, the same group of people is behind them. So, how can you protect yourself?
First of all, don’t download any unnecessary apps on your phone. The second thing that you can do is check the permissions required by the apps instead of just accepting them on the go. In most cases, the app will sell your information to spammers, but in extreme cases, it can be used to track your device or outright control your device to some degree.
CyberNews has created a list of such apps that can be accessed here. So, be careful when you find a “cool” beauty app on the Play Store, it could be a malware. And if you have any such app on your phone, delete it right away.