Believe it or not, malware for Android exists
, and the best way to avoid it is by only downloading apps from trusted sources, such as Google Play
. That said, you're still not immune to threats, and according to security firm Avast
, makers of self-titled antivirus software, the newest threat to the Android platform is a night vision camera app it found on Google Play.
"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," Avast's Filip Chytry stated in a blog post.
This seemingly innocent and free app is not so innocent (or free), according to Avast.
As many malicious apps do, this one in particular asks for certain permissions that go above and beyond what it purports to do. According to Avast, the night vision app tries to parse phone numbers from other apps like WhatsApp and ChatOn so that it can subscribe them to a premium messaging service.
After it gets those phone numbers, the app sends them to a server to register them for the SMS service, charging you $2.80 in the process. In addition, it will keep sending messages until it reaches $50 per month, and then repeat the process month after month.
"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," Avast says.