Google has banned twenty-nine beauty editing apps form the Google Play Store for maliciously stealing photos, promoting pornography and other nefarious activities. According to TechRadar, a cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro revealed the photo-centric apps which contained malware were inappropriately scheming its users by showing fraudulent full-screen ads when users unlock their phones, steal photos and upload them to an external server.
Though the ban was in efforts to deter further damage to users, these photo filter apps have been downloaded by thousands of people, with three of the apps over a million times each majorly from Asia and India.
Some of the apps are difficult to delete as they exploit tricks to hide the icons. These apps also lure users with pop-up scams like prize claims, which in most cases are iPhones and in other cases pose as commercial pornographic services, but once users click these links to "claim prizes" they log in their details and are immediate victims of a phishing scam.
Users are advised to immediately remove the beauty apps to avoid a further threat to their privacy.
The 29 banned apps are; Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo, Emoji Camera, Artistic Effect Filter, Art Editor, Beauty Camera, Selfie Camera Pro, Horizon Beauty Camera, Super Camera, Art Effects for Photo, Awesome Cartoon Art, Art filter Photo, Art Filter Photo Effects, Cartoon Effect.
Others are Art Effect, Photo Editor, Wallpapers HD, Magic Art Filter Photo Editor, ArtFlipPhotoEditing, Art Filter, Cartoon Art Photo Filter, Art Filter Photo Editor, Picture, Art Effect, Photo Art Effect, Cartoon Photo Filter.