Screen Recorder App recorded thousands of users without consent
Android apps have a notorious track record of circumventing privacy, either by acting maliciously or by using your phone to steal data or track it. Now, a new kind of problem has emerged in Android apps, where one of the apps available through the Play Store started recording users without their permission to use the microphone.
That’s not all, the app even sent the data via an encrypted link to the app developer’s server. According to a report by Ars Technica, an app called iRecorder Screen Recorder was the guilty party that indulged in this privacy nightmare almost a year after it was first released on the Play Store for users to download. The details of this breach were recorded by Lukas Stefanko, a researcher at Essential Security against Evolving Threats, or ESET.
In his post, Stefanko explains that the app was released in September 2021, but a year later an update to the app contained malicious code that started the entire privacy breach for around 50,000 users who had downloaded the app by the time Google removed it from the Play Store.
The biggest concern with such sleeper apps is that they manage to bypass Google’s so-called rigid security checks for apps in the Play Store, and a year later they start acting in the worst possible way, infecting devices with malicious code that can have serious consequences for users.
Stefanko has seen such cases on both iOS and Android devices and feels that recording apps are one of the biggest culprits of such issues. Google has now removed the iRecorder Screen Recorder app, but we can’t say how much data the developer has already used from the supposed 50,000 users with the app on their phones and how they plan to use the content.
Google claims that it will continue to tighten security standards and force developers to share more updates with their users. But such events clearly shake the user’s confidence. All we can say is be careful when downloading apps, even from the Play Store, as these stories suggest.
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