These apps are no longer on the Google Play Store for stealing user data

The apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. (Photo: Applicants)

Google remove kit Applications From Google Play Store After discovering that it contains Spying programs Theft of confidential information. According to the Wall Street Journal, the data was collected by a company it believes is doing cyber-intelligence tasks for it United State.

The presence of spyware has been detected by the company AppCensus, who posted a very detailed report on his blog. Explains how some applications (at first glance harmless and with millions of downloads) include a file Software Development Kit (coelib.c.couluslibrary) Which collects a large amount of data from Hardware Which is installed and sent to the server of a company registered in Panama called measurement systems.

What is spyware?

Spyware is a type of file Malware who tries to stay hidden while secretly recording information and following your online activities, whether on computers or on smart phones.

They can monitor and copy everything you type, upload, download, and store. Some strains of spyware are also capable of Activate cameras and microphones To see the person and listen without the user noticing.

By definition, spyware is designed to be invisible, which can be one of its most harmful features: And the longer it goes unnoticed, the more devastation it can wreak. It’s like a virtual stalker that tracks you as you use the device, Collect personal data at the same time.

Spying programs.  (Photo: AndroidHelp)
Spying programs. (Photo: AndroidHelp)

Google removes a slew of data-collecting apps on Android

One of the points that caught the researchers’ attention was that the code is responsible for collecting information behind users’ backs It didn’t work the same in all the apps that included it, Even when using the same SDK version. Here are three examples that AppCensus found:

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1. It was discovered that a An application that uses a smartphone as a computer mouse It collects and sends the MAC address of the router to which the device is connected. This app has Over 10 million downloads worldwide.

2. Another app that Google reported contains spyware is a file Widget to see the weather With over a million downloads. It was discovered that this application can “catch” any item that is copied to the clipboard and sent to the measuring system server. So, If the user copies a password or any other sensitive data, It will fall into the wrong hands.

3. They also found more serious cases, such as Barcode and QR reader With more than 5 million downloads from Google Store. This application can collect number Telephone Exactly, address e-mailthrough the device’s website Global Positioning SystemAnd the mobile IMEI, the generic name (SSID) of the WiFi network, and the MAC address of the offline router.

Google Play Store apps to include spyware (Photo: AppCensus)
Google Play Store apps to include spyware (Photo: AppCensus)

Logically, only a few cases were mentioned that were noted by specialists. fact, AppCensus has published the list along with other apps where the Meter SDK was discovered and its scope is very wide; From applications that warn about the presence of speed cameras on the road, to messaging platformsAudio tools and prayer guides.

Although this information was announced in the past few hours, The results are not new. The researchers reported to Google the existence of this spyware in October 2021; since then, people of Mountain View Remove these and other apps where they have also detected malicious code.

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