Spying App Scam: How It Works
(video below) According to a press release sent out recently, SnoopWall – the world's first counterveillance security software company – has issued a consumer protection advisory that consumers should delete their flashlight apps immediately.
SnoopWall's cybersecurity experts confirmed that "all flashlight app users are being spied on and warn that flashlight apps should be considered well designed malware. A heightened warning was issued for users with mobile banking apps co-installed on their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
"The top 10 free flashlight apps in the Google Play store alone account for nearly 1/2 billion installations alone, and that does not include the Microsoft Windows Phone and Apple iTunes apps," said Gary Miliefski, CEO of SnoopWall, an IT security and counterveillance expert. "The cyber threat from flashlight apps is epic," he warns.
Watch the video below to see full explanation of the Spying Flashlight scam:
SnoopWall cybersecurity reviewers revealed that the top 10 flashlight apps geolocate users, read contacts lists, read device storage looking for personal, sensitive pictures and videos, read and write files, check to see what apps are running, look for ways to communicate over the internet (wifi or cellular), get users phone number and more.
All the flashlight applications reviewed revealed easy exposure of a user's personal information to potential cybercriminals or other nation states such as India, China and Russia.
SnoopWall cyber experts report that these flashlight application sizes were unusually large, ranging from of 1.2 to 5 megabytes, which would support the malicious app behavior revealed. According to Miliefsky, "an optimized flashlight application should only be 72k which is 10-50 times smaller than the smallest one of these apps. The size is significant because there is more code than necessary embedded in these applications which allow them to eavesdrop on you. "
"Why does Brightest Flashlight need to Geolocate you? It doesn't," Miliefsky stated. "If users are performing Mobile Banking on the same device as one of these free Flashlight Apps, they are at an even higher risk of a severe data breach."
Flashlight Syping App: How To Avoid
According to SnoopWall's report, "because some of the Flashlight Apps write settings and have access to your device storage, it may be to install additional backdoors or remote access Trojans (RATs), therefore you might need to reset your phone completely after an uninstall of your favorite Flashlight App. Some might even wish to go to factory reset or a wipe. Once you've cleaned off the Flashlight RAT, you might still want a flashlight app on your phone that you can trust.
The flashlight app pre-installed on the Apple iPhone appears to be safe.
However in both the iTunes store and on the Windows Phone app store, 3rd party flashlight apps access various hardware ports. The ports they access while they are running includes Webcam, Location Services, using your GPS and other coarse location based internet. In addition, they use your internet connection.The good news is that on these two operating systems apps like this cannot hide in the background.
The bad news is when you run downloaded Flashlight Apps on these two platforms, they are still building up a profile on users including your location, and are able to send and receive information over the internet – totally unnecessary for a flashlight.
Uninstallation instructions for Android apps:
1. Visit your device's Settings menu > Apps or Application manager (this may differ depending on your device).
2. Touch the app you'd like to uninstall.
3. Select Uninstall."
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