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Google removes 25 apps from Play Store for allegedly stealing users’ Facebook data

Google pulled the apps earlier this month, after checking the results of the French security company. Many of the applications had been on the Play Store for more than a year before being dropped.

Google removes 25 apps from Play Store for allegedly stealing users’ Facebook data
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In a bid to counter data theft and illegal handling of the users’ data, Google has delisted as many as 25 apps from its Play Store. The overall downloads number of these apps surged past 2.34 millions-mark before Google finally decided to pull the trigger on them. These apps were launched as image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games but were created by the same threat group and operated under the same objective, according to a ZDNet report quoting a French cybersecurity firm Evina.

Evina said it found the malicious code that stole Facebook passwords in 25 apps that they recorded in late May to Google. Google pulled the apps earlier this month, after checking the results of the French security company. Many of the applications had been on the Play Store for more than a year before being dropped.

The apps offered legitimate features but also contained malicious code. Researchers at Evina say the apps contained code that detected user recently opened and had in the foreground of the screen.

If users entered credentials on this phishing page, the malicious app would log the data and send it to a remote server located on the domain airshop.pw.

Facebook has been criticized for data breach and users along with regulating agencies across the world have been coming hard on the Mark Zuckerberg-founded social connectivity app. There have been many instances in the past when Facebook has been dealt with blows of privacy breach including the very infamous Cambridge Analytica saga that left Facebook’s credibility to some undiscovered low. Google’s move to delist these apps will bolster Facebook’s efforts at tightening its data privacy system and will provide much-needed relief to its functioning.

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First published on: 08-07-2020 at 12:18 IST