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Google pulls 29 photo apps from Play Store

February 4, 2019.


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According to the security company Trend Micro, Google has removed 29 malicious Android applications from its Google Play Store. These are applications that in appearance improve and transform photos, but in fact hide malicious features. Of the 29 applications, 11 were downloaded more than 100,000 times, and three of them were downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. The three apps with the greatest number of downloads that were suppressed are Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo, and Emoji Camera. Other deleted apps include Art Editor, Super Camera, Art Effects for Photo, Art Effect, Prizma Photo Effect, and Pixture. Protecting its store and its users from potentially harmful apps seems like a challenge for Google. The moral is, be cautious when you download an app that does not come from a known publisher. Check other users’ comments. If critics mention suspicious behavior, it may be wise to refrain from downloading the application.

Trend Micro, Security Intelligence Blog, “Various Google Play ‘beauty camera’ apps send users pornographic content, redirect them to phishing websites and collect their pictures.”

Engadget, “Google pulls 29 photo apps that stole pictures and promoted scam.”