Google has taken down a new set of Apps from the Play Store in a move to fight malicious Apps once again. The last time around it was a set of “GPS” Apps that the company had removed from the Store after it was found to be misleading the users and stealing their private information. The latest ones to be removed include “Beauty Camera” Apps, where almost 29 of them were found to contain malware.
These Apps were being downloaded in huge numbers by users in different parts of Asia and specifically from India. A report was published on this by a US-based cyber security firm Trend Micro, that spoke about the origin of these Apps and how vulnerable they can be for the users:
We discovered several beauty camera apps (detected as AndroidOS_BadCamera.HRX) on Google Play that are capable of accessing remote ad configuration servers that can be used for malicious purposes. Some of these have already been downloaded millions of times, which is unsurprising given the popularity of these kinds of apps. A large number of the download counts originated from Asia — particularly in India.
A user downloading one of these apps will not immediately suspect that there is anything amiss, until they decide to delete the app. During our analysis, we found a paid online pornography player that was downloaded when clicking the pop up.
For example, the package com.beauty.camera.project.cloud will create a shortcut after being launched. However, it will hide its icon from the application list, making it more difficult for users to uninstall the app since they will be unable to drag and delete it.