Check Point researchers have discovered a free mobile anti-virus app which collects user data without the device owners’ consent.
Developed by the DU Group, a developer of Android apps, the app called DU Antivirus Security, has been downloaded from Google Play between 10 and 50 million times.
- The Check Point researcher say that when the DU Antivirus Security app runs for the first time its collects information such as unique identifiers, contact list, call logs and possibly even the location of the device
- This information is then encrypted and sent to a remote server
- The information is then used by another app offered by the DU group, called Caller ID & Call Block – DU Caller
- This app provides users with information about incoming phone calls
Intrusive, unwarranted and a bit sneaky
The DU Group has crossed a line:
- It collects personal information and uses this data for commercial purposes
- It includes information about your personal calls, who you're speaking with and for how long
- It’s not malicious as such but it is certainly an invasion of privacy
Check the terms and conditions
- Before you download an app generally you have to accept the terms and conditions.
- These are often long-winded and full of jargon making them appear impenetrable
- However, it’s important to find the text that covers data and privacy – if an app is using your data for commercial purposes this needs to be disclosed
If you are in any doubt or the terms and conditions really are impenetrable don’t use the app