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Avast Warns That Night Vision Camera App in Google Play Steals Your Money

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

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.

via avast

8 Comments

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  1. Yeah. Its better if Google changes the app installation system and makes users allow each and every permission individually. That’ll make people understand the importance of this.

  2. This is part of the reason I haven’t downloaded some of the apps that I thought looked interesting. The list of what the app has access to worries me and that others don’t read is even more worrisome.

  3. They mostly are safe if they are from the Google Play Store. But its always better to glance through the list of permissions required, so you get a better idea of what the app is going to do.

  4. I guess I better start reading the permissions prior to downloading new apps. I really thought that apps would be safe if they were purchased from the Google Play Store.

  5. This is something very serious. There was an issue with in-app purchases a few years back, especially in games. Kids used to buy stuff in games with real money. Just steer clear of all this.

  6. Wow! Even I have tried a few such apps for fun. But never experienced such stuff. And it always makes sense to buy or download apps from the Play Store only.

  7. The whole point of having the permissions listed out before installing an app is to tell the user that the app will do all the following. When a night vision app is asking your permission to send SMS and read your accounts, you should be alarmed already.

  8. Weird. I’ve downloaded a few night vision apps out of curiosity to see if they actually worked, never had this problem before.

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