Many flashlight apps on phones are malware!

Discussion in Mobile Apps & Games started by Squigly • Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Squigly

    SquiglyActive Member

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    The list of apps which can cause infection and steal your data are:


    • Super-Bright LED Flashlight
      Brightest Flashlight Free
      Tiny Flashlight + LED
      Flashlight (x2)
      Brightest LED Flashlight
      Color Flashlight
      High-Powered Flashlight
      Flashlight HD LED
      Flashlight: LED Torch Light

    This is worrying, while I did not install the apps I know many people who did, since it was fairly useful in certain scenarios. It reiterates the importance of double-checking the app permissions on whatever apps you install on your phone.
     
  2. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    Meh. It's the fault of the users that download these apps to be honest. The apps are required to explicitly state which permissions they're asking for, and a user should be smart enough to realize how each permission can be exploited and use against them. Even if the apps do amount to malware, they can't get around Google's requirements of asking for permissions. Users are stupid enough to grant those permissions, giving those apps free reign and access to countless bits of personal information and more.
     
  3. tjmsrubegoldberg

    tjmsrubegoldbergNew Member

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    While I agree with troutski's note that users need to be more careful in giving apps permissions that they don't need, I think it's honestly something that most people tend to ignore, like the Terms and Conditions of programs and apps. The important thing to note is that most app developers do not develop apps just for the fun of it. They seek to earn money from their app, either through legitimate (though not necessarily great) things like in-app purchases or ads, or through underhanded methods like selling user data to the highest bidder. Some developers will do both to maximize their profits at the users' expense. It's probably a good idea to be suspicious of most "free" apps that aren't backed by a reputable company and try to figure out how their making money for the time spent to develop it.
     
  4. TPhoenix

    TPhoenixActive Member

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    I've heard of this story and it's extremely alarming that such app developers could take advantage of the trust of users and have them download apps with malware for their own ulterior motive. As someone who downloaded one of those apps, this has been worrying me all week and I don't want to do a factory reset of my phone and go through the whole process of having to back-up files and apps and restoring them afterwards. I also have to question why Google would allow those malware-ridden apps to be part of the app store. Do they not regulate all the apps in the store to make sure they can't demand permissions beyond their rightful purpose or is this story just a hoax?
     
  5. Squigly

    SquiglyActive Member

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    As convenient as it is I would still recommend that you perform a factory reset. As to why Google is unable to police this, I believe that there are at least a few hundred, if not thousand apps released every day. It would be too costly for Google to screen through every app that developers are releasing to the public.
     
  6. TPhoenix

    TPhoenixActive Member

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    I still think that with all the money Google generates and with all the customers and members of the Google Play store that make them the mighty corporation that they are, they should at least do us the courtesy of making sure certain app developers are not trying to take advantage and try to stake out or steal critical information that we trust they could protect. But maybe that's just me.
     
  7. calebmelvern

    calebmelvernActive Member

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    Unfortunately, there will always be people who wouldn't care about malware and other security issues. There are even those who don't know about these things at all. As for Google not being able to weed out such apps, yeah I think they can do a better job.
     
  8. DancingLady

    DancingLadyActive Member

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    While I am not surprised that malware apps get through sometimes, that is a lot of apps. I am glad I do not have an android device, that would be a real pain to deal with. I do not know how I would be able to tell if an app was safe or not. If it is recommended by people who seem trustworthy, how can you tell?
     
  9. DesignerMum

    DesignerMumActive Member

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    It is kind of like cheating to not be reading the permissions and the details from the apps we choose to use. I tend to just read without knowing what information to look for to verify the apps. I usually encourage my sisters to scan the permission if not find out what the app is requesting from the user. It actually is not the responsibility of the app user to determine if the app is safe to use or not, it's the developer's responsibility. If we are using an app then we just need to be aware of what sort of information the app is collecting, privacy policy, details that don't come naturally. :confused: People who care about malware and security issues related to their use of the apps might not know how to handle problems relating to the apps if they are not equipped with that knowledge.
     
  10. deathbyprayer

    deathbyprayerActive Member

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    Yeah, I've read that in a blog somewhere but to be honest, I think it's mostly the users fault. Some of these apps can be deadly yes but I don't think Google Play or the App Store would accept these apps without prior testing. Most of the users just tap and tap 'Agree' without even reading what's in the agreement and they just install whatever they like.
     
  11. clairebeautiful

    clairebeautifulActive Member

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    I have to agree with this. I rarely give apps permission to use my location, for example. I mean, why would a flashlight need to know my GPS coordinates? Same with allowing it to access my contacts. It just doesn't make sense. The Target App, however, asks for a location in order to provide deals in the store where I actually shop. This makes sense to me. Unfortunately, "smart" phones just allow the users to get dumber and dumber.

    I've never used a flashlight app. I find that opening a blank email is just as bright.
     
  12. crazyman1090

    crazyman1090Member

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    Yeah, I don't really agree with what Google is doing right now to protect its customers on the Play Store. Compared to Apple's App Store, its main competitor, Google protects its users far less than what Apple does. No Apple app that I have downloaded has ever been malicious. These apps all have to be reviewed by Apple before being put onto the market. However, the Play Store has none of this stuff. This leads to bunches of fake apps that are scams and other bad and malicious things that make the Play Store less user-friendly overall.
     
  13. MrsJones

    MrsJonesActive Member

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    I'm confused by the title of the topic and the discussion in the forum. The topic references 'flashlight apps on phones' but the discussion is regarding 'flashlights apps that are being downloaded."

    I would like to know which to respond to correctly because my flashlight app was already on my android.
     
  14. lindbergh

    lindberghWell-Known Member

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    I have never tried downloading a flashlight app before and I think I never will. I find them useless since the flash of my cellphone is enough to act as a flashlight during emergency situations. Then couple that with the fact that these apps are malware??? Geez, I wonder why Google is still accepting and tolerating these developers...