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Potentially Dangerous Flashlight Apps

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By DocHoliday77, Recognized Contributor on 2nd October 2014, 11:33 PM
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All of the applications below appear to obtain access and information way beyond the needs of a Flashlight. Some appear specifically designed to collect and expose your personal information to cybercriminals or other nation states. In addition, you are at significant risk if you are doing Mobile Banking on the same device as one of these free Flashlight Apps.

Our strong recommendation is to uninstall your flashlight app immediately.

--From SnoopWall's Threat Assessment Report

Ok, so we all know that we need to be extra careful with the apps we use and the permissions they demand, at least, if you are here on XDA, I certainly hope you know this! And for many of you it is probably 2nd nature to steer clear of many apps that require too many irrelevant permissions. However, it was just brought to my attention that yesterday SnoopWall released a Threat Assesment Report regarding the top 10 Flashlight/Torch apps in the Play Store, and every one of them can potentially be used maliciously! So I thought I would share this with everyone, first, so that you are aware of it, and second, so you can make others aware! Maybe if we show those stubbornly ignorant people we all know, they will start trying to be a little more careful, and start paying a little more attention to what they are doing!

One important thing to note, as I dont remember seeing it mentioned specifically in the report, is that during their investigation they found a lot of personal information being sent by these flashlight apps to Russia, China and India! Need I say more???

Personally, I have always stayed away from these flashlight apps for several reasons that are mentioned by the report. For example, why would any app that only functions as a flashlight need to be several megabytes in size??? Huge red flag if you ask me!

Anyway, as many of you know here, I do not have a lot of time right now, so I will just post the links you need to educate yourself below. I will try to post more information later on as time allows, but I just wanted to get this out there for anyone who needs to know about it.

SnoopWall's Flashlight App Threat Assessment Report

Fox News report - A Cybersecurity Threat That Could Be Lurking On Your Phone

FTC Sues Brightest Flashlight Developer

SnoopWall's Apps on Google Play

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2nd October 2014, 11:50 PM |#2  
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3rd October 2014, 02:04 AM |#3  
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dont know if this appropriate place to post (and will delete if needed) when i use to use play store , i found this xposed mode
and am aware that there are many filter/nets/whatevers. but this one was helpful to me.
good day

err on the side of kindness
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3rd October 2014, 08:08 AM |#4  
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This looks and smells like some fear mongering BS.. just has a chart of permissions and the ones used on several of the apps are VERY reasonable .
4th October 2014, 11:57 AM |#5  
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Idk that first app in the grid is vary suspicious alongside some others with same permisions

---------- Post added at 05:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:52 AM ----------

Lol but there recomeded safety precautions are way too exaggerated
11th October 2014, 07:18 PM |#6  
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I'm definitely glad most Roms come with a simple torch/flashlight app so I've never had to download one from the play store, that's scary stuff!
12th October 2014, 02:45 AM |#7  
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Originally Posted by AddictedToB3er

I'm definitely glad most Roms come with a simple torch/flashlight app so I've never had to download one from the play store, that's scary stuff!

The thing is, here it is about flashlight apps. But the same threat could eventually apply to any app. Not that I would like people to become paranoid, but a quick read of permissions requests by apps when installing them and evaluate what the asked permissions could do is always a good habit to have. Lots of apps developers publish, on their website or directly on the Play Store, the reasons why certain permissions are requested and how they are used for -- this is an habit I would like to see more often.
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12th October 2014, 04:37 PM |#8  
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Yeah for sure I was reading one of the XDA articles a while back about how many permissions keyboard apps ask for and it seemed a little much to me. I like to just go in and disable permissions I don't think certain apps need like Facebook for example. I never check in anywhere so I disable the location permission.
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