Cybersecurity Blog

Photo editing apps on Google Play loaded with malware – 01/31/19


Trend Micro has discovered that several Android apps used to make photos more “beautiful” are actually loaded with malware. Instead of working as advertised the nasty things randomly throw pop-ups ads on your screen, some of them directing you to a porn site.  This is rather uncomfortable if you happen to be visiting your mom.

If you click on any of the pop-up ads, you are asked for payment or redirected to phishing websites asking for personal information.  Should you decide to take them up on any of their dirty little offers, you receive nothing in exchange for payment.

What makes these apps so devious, is it is not readily apparent that it is the app itself that is responsible for the pop-ups.  In addition,  deleting the app  is often difficult as its icon will often be missing from the application list.

If you check the reviews on these bad boys, you find a bunch of 5 star reviews and then a bunch of 1 star reviews. Anytime you see this, it is usually an indication that the scammers pumped up the ratings with a bunch of good reviews only to have their efforts countered by actual users.  Darn those users, being all truthful.

Thankfully these dreadful apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. However if your phone is behaving badly and you aren’t sure why, check to see if you have installed one of the following

Pro Camera Beauty
Cartoon Art Photo
Emoji Camera
Artistic effect Filter
Art Editor
Beauty Camera
Selfie Camera Pro
Horizon Beauty Camera
Super Camera
Art Effects for Photo
Awesome Cartoon Art
Art Filter Photo
Art Filter Photo Effcts
Cartoon Effect
Art Effect
Photo Editor
Wallpapers HD
Magic Art Filter Photo Editor
Fill Art Photo Editor
Art Filter
Cartoon Art Photo
Prizma Photo Effect
Cartoon Art Photo Filter
Art Filter Photo Editor
Art Effect
Photo Art Effect
Cartoon Photo Filter

If you have one of these nasty things on your phone, you may have to perform a factory reset to remove it.


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