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One of the main defenses against malicious applications are permissions, which prevent them from having access to various functions or files if the user does not grant them. However, when it comes to beauty apps or filters, it might not be enough: Cybernews has discovered at least one photography app that accesses the camera even when it doesn't have permission to do so and many more with suspicious behavior among the 30 most downloaded .
The programs analyzed exceed 1.3 billion total downloads among all of them. Cybernews analyzed their behavior, their origin (16 of them come from China or Hong Kong) and the requested permits. His final recommendation was to erase any of them and resort only to the filters of applications of proven developers, such as Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger.
Thus, for example, BeautyPlus - Easy Photo Editor & Selfie Camera , which ranks first in the category of beauty apps and exceeds 300 million installations, "was identified as malware or spyware." Its developer, they explain, is suspected of storing user data on servers in China and then selling this information. And it is not the only one.
In its investigation, the firm also found a developer who has created malicious adware and another who was accused of sending pornographic content to users, redirecting them to phishing sites and saving their photographs. There is also a group of applications that tries to go through different tools, although they all belong to the same group.
Perhaps the best example is Beauty Camera developed by Phila AppStore and installed about 500,000 times. Although he did not request access to the camera - a permission considered by Google as dangerous -, he was able to open it and take photographs.
Although the research focuses on the 30 most popular apps, Cybernews recommends distrust of anyone requesting permits that, in principle, does not need (one of them requests access to the contact list, 13 to the GPS location and 23 to the microphone) , whose developer is not known (especially in the case of free ones) or who shows aggressive advertising or suspicious behavior.
The complete list of the analyzed applications is as follows:
BeautyPlus - Easy Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Beauty Camera - Selfie Camera
Selfie Camera - Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Makeup Photo
Beauty Camera - Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
YouCam Perfect - Best Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
Sweet Snap - Beauty Selfie Camera & Face Filter
Sweet Selfie Snap - Sweet Camera & Beauty Cam Snap
Beauty Camera - Selfie Camera with Photo Editor
Beauty Camera - Best Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
B612 - Beauty & Filter Camera
Face Makeup Camera & Beauty Photo Makeup Editor
Sweet Selfie - Selfie Camera & Makeup Photo Editor
Selfie camera - Beauty Camera & Makeup camera
YouCam Perfect - Best Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Beauty Camera Makeup Face Selfie, Photo Editor
Selfie Camera - Beauty Camera
Z Beauty Camera
HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
Candy Camera - selfie, beauty camera & photo editor
Makeup Camera-Selfie Beauty Filter Photo Editor
Beauty Selfie Plus - Sweet Camera Wonder HD Camera
Selfie Camera - Beauty Camera & AR Stickers
Pretty Makeup, Beauty Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Bestie - Camera360 Beauty Cam
Photo Editor - Beauty Camera
Beauty Makeup, Selfie Camera Effects & Photo Editor
Selfie cam - Bestie Makeup Beauty Camera & Filters
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