Alarming information has been brought forward this month that the top 10 flashlight apps on Google Play store are malware. Gary Miliefsky, CEO of Snoopwall, estimates over half a billion Android devices globally are unknowingly infected and sending personal information to China, India, and Russia.
Gary goes on further to say the only way you can be sure to uninfect your Android device is with a full factory reset. Apple iOS users are safe from this issue. Here is a link to the Snoopwall Flashlight Apps Threat Assessment Report. The report goes on to list these flashlight apps:
- 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
Even though they are the top downloads, they are all acting in a malicious way. He was tipped off when he kept wondering why a flashlight app would activate his GPS and access his contact list.
This has been reported by people to the FTC. The number 2 flashlight app (Brightest Flashlight by GoldenShores Technologies) was recently sued by the FTC and they settled. They had over 50 million downloads at the time. The problem is people are blindly accepting anything the apps ask for access to your phone and they were too trusting because it was one of the top apps with so many downloads.
Their recommendations are to:
- Disable GPS except when needed
- Disable NFC
- Disable Bluetooth
- Verify app permissions before installing
- Put tape over your camera & microphone