A quarter of hundreds of applications have installed over 382 million times.
Security experts found in the online store of Google Play applications as many as 24 popular Android applications that are dangerous for users and have their “dark secrets.”
The total number of application installations has already exceeded 382 million. Behind these applications is China’s Shenzhen Hawk, a subsidiary of TCL. Note that TCL is not the first time involved in activities with malicious applications. Last year, the Weather Forecast malicious application was detected, and in 2017, the spyware “antivirus” Virus Cleaner.
Applications were created by six different developers, at first glance unrelated to each other. However, they can be traced to Shenzhen Hawk. Among them there are games, browsers, launchers, file managers, weather forecasts, antiviruses, VPNs and other useful and interesting applications for users.
As the experts found out, applications contain malicious code, require too many permissions, and are also involved in “unethical” activities. Six of them require access to the camera, two – to the phone functions for making calls and sending SMS, 15 – to GPS data and data in memory. Also, 14 applications can report information about the phone and the user’s network, record sound, and also access contacts.
A Google spokesperson told Forbes that the company is taking security and privacy breach seriously and will take action if confirmed. Currently, two of the 24 applications on Google Play are available.