These Apps Hack Your Smartphone’s Data

Three more Google Play apps have been found to exploit a vulnerability in the world’s most popular smartphone software. The Camero camera app, callCam and FileCrypt Manager installed spyware on your smartphone. If installed, your smartphone has likely already been hacked and your private data exposed.

Camera App Exploits Known Google Smartphone Vulnerability

Back in October 2019, Google’s Project Zero exposed a vulnerability in the Android operating system that can give malicious app developers full control of at least 18 different models of smartphone including popular, Hawei, Moto, Oppo, Oreo, Pixel, Samsung and Xiamoi models. The issue was rated as “high severity” by Google but the Google Play store continued to allow its users to install at least three camera apps designed to exploit it and hack their users’ smartphones.

Problem Lies in “Use After Free”

The vulnerability is related to the “use after free” capability which gives attackers full read and write access to the smart device. According to numerous technical descriptions at the time, the problem was first identified in early 2018 – nearly two years ago – but the patches were not made part of the Android security updates. The vulnerability is now described as CVE2019-2215. There is some debate as to whether the Israeli developer NSO Group, which has itself uncovered vulnerabilities in previous years and developed Pegasus spyware, was selling this exploit to malware developers. NSO Group denies any involvement in CVE2019-2215.

Takes Screenshots and Shares Your Data

This hack potential exposes your entire smartphone’s data. Among several methods it uses to capture your data is to take screenshots of your device and then send those photos back to the hackers without your permission or knowledge. The apps reportedly share your data with a server called SideWinder which is the name of a hacking group that is noted for specifically targeting military users.

The Camaro app installs a spyware app callCam which hides its own icon and then collects these photos as well as various information about accounts, and files on your device and data from other apps including WeChat, Outlook, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Facebook Gmail and Chrome. The tentacles of this data breach of your device are enormous since these mail and social media apps themselves contain or give access to an almost limitless amount of personal information stored on these popular third-party websites.

What Can You Do?

Google is providing very little information about this exploit or the malware apps like Camaro that were available through the Google Play store where they have since been removed. Still for those users who installed the software there is little they can do now except uninstall the software and update their devices to the latest security patches, backup your data regularly and consider installing anti-virus software on your device.

MyProfyle reminds its users that exposure by hacks and data breaches like these will continue and there is no way to effectively protect yourself from them because even the companies that strive to protect us like Google provide inadequate security. Become a Free Basic MyProfyle member today and learn more about risk factors like these so that you can take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and approve of reject use of your identity.

References

ArsTechnica

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