A year after Google's approval Android app started spying on users


A year after Google's approval Android app started spying on users red android droid

We all have been having issues with apps that seem to do anything other than what they were advertised for. But, in this case, you'd be forgiven for not knowing about the dangers of what you installed on your Android device, as this screen recorder app was approved by Google and, only a year later, started spying on its users.

The "iRecorder - Screen Recorder" app had been approved by Google way back in September 2021, greenlighting its presence on the Play Store. A year later, in September of last year, the application got a specific update (version 1.3.8) which, while seemingly innocuous, introduced new malicious features.

In particular, it seemed the app had now permissions to spy on its users via microphone, recording any conversations and background noises it wanted, along with permission to access some particular files.

Such a problem definitely puts a spotlight on the controls that Google is adopting regarding applications that are already on the Play store, in order to guarantee that users can continue to have them installed on their devices without worrying.

In this particular case, while the iRecorder app has since been removed from the Play store, that still doesn't mean that its approximately 50k users have uninstalled it from their devices. If, by any chance, you still have the app installed on your device, you'd better proceed to an immediate uninstall.

It is not known, at this stage, if the app was part of an international espionage plan, or if - perhaps - it was used for any type of ransomware-like attack. The developer, Coffeeholic Dev, was already responsible for several other apps, such as iBlock or iCleaner. None of them are available on the Play store but, again, should you have any of those installed, remove them immediately.

Overall, while the Google Play Store cannot always control all the different updates that an app receives, as a user it is better to be careful of which permission you allow to an app. Especially after a sudden, minor, update.

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