We all know that malware exists for Android devices and that sometimes apps that contain these threats often slip by the tight scrutiny of Google and are available at the Google Play store. Avast, one of the leaders in virus protection, announced that it has discovered a new threat to the Android platform that robs you blind.
Cámara Visión Nocturna is an app available at the Google Play store that allows an Android device that allows users to do night vision recordings. The problem is that it also does a lot of other things such as looking at a users address book, scraping phone numbers, then it automatically signs up for a paid messaging service.
Avast’s Filip Chytry said in a blog post that “We’ve already blogged about plenty of threats that sneak onto your device from trusted sources, but here we have a really fresh one, one that is still undetected by other security vendors. An Application called Cámara Visión Nocturna (package name: com.loriapps.nightcamera.apk), which is still available in the Google Play Store as I am writing this post, is something you definitely don’t want to have on your Android device.”
Cámara Visión Nocturna asks for unrelated permissions for a night vision app. Its request for “GET_ACCOUNTS” or WRITE_SMS” is a bit suspicious which is why Avast decided to look into the app further. The company said that based on its investigation “The app tries to parse phone numbers from applications such as Whatsapp or ChatOn in order to subscribe them to a premium messaging service.” Once it has the needed phone numbers it then sends the data to a remote server which then registers the number to a premium SMS list. Users who had their devices infected are billed €2 ($2.80) automatically, racking up charges until the total reached €36 ($50).
Avast warns that “Experts normally recommend users download apps strictly from the Google Play store, as the apps sold there go through security inspections as opposed to non official stores. Despite this, users should not trust all apps sold in the Google Play store.”
Just to be sure it’s best to have security software program installed on an Android device to catch these threats that have slipped past the official stores.