Cybersecurity experts issue a warning to over a million users regarding two apps that allegedly steal sensitive data, including photos, videos, location information, and more. File Recovery & Data Recovery and File Manager, available on the Google Play Store, are said to be infected with spyware, compromising user information.
Pradeo, a cybersecurity firm, reveals that these seemingly harmless file management apps are actually designed to extract users’ data silently and send it to malicious servers located in China. The stolen data includes contact lists, social media and email content, photos, audio and video files, real-time user location, and other sensitive information.
The two apps, both developed by the same creator, have garnered approximately 1.5 million downloads combined, but with very few reviews. Pradeo suspects that the download numbers may have been artificially inflated through the use of bots.
Google has confirmed that the two apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. Google Play Protect, which is part of Google Play Services, offers protection against known malware-infected apps, even if they are obtained from sources outside of the Play Store. However, users who still have the apps installed on their devices must manually delete them.
To avoid falling victim to such threats, Pradeo advises users to exercise caution when downloading apps that have a large number of downloads but few reviews. It is crucial to carefully review app permissions and user feedback before installing any application.
This warning comes shortly after the removal of another app called iRecorder – Screen Recorder from the Google Play Store. The app was found to secretly access users’ photo libraries and record audio without their knowledge, prompting its removal due to privacy concerns.