Google Expels 20 Surveillance Apps from Play Store

Advertising, Smartphones, Surveillance

Last week, Google banned 20 Android apps from its Play Store for their extraction of users’ emails, texts, location, and calls. The apps “rooted” devices with older Android operating systems, meaning they were able to bypass newer security protections. The expelled apps generally advertised as cleanup tech for unwanted files or as backup utilities. It is suspected that the apps were developed by¬† Equus Technologies, a cyber arms company, and had been installed on 100 phones. Google is calling these apps “Lipizzan.” The same day Google announced the banning of these apps, antivirus company Sophos disclosed two Android apps surreptitiously collecting text messages: an app store shortcut and a skin care magazine. These have been downloaded up to 500,000 times.

ArsTechnica

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