ESET researchers have discovered a new harmful application that affects Android users. In addition to spying on users, the chat application also steals the personal data of the downloaders.

According to GlobalStats data, as of June 2020, Android has a 74% market share in the field of mobile operating system. If you are one of the users in this 74% slice, you should listen to the new warning.

ESET researchers warned of a harmful application that spies on users and even steals personal data. A chat application called Welcome Chat contains harmful software called BadPatch.

Welcome Chat

This application was promoted on a malicious website and was claimed to be a secure chat application on the Google Play Store. ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko stated that the claims that the application is ‘safe’ are really far away.

Stefanko said that the developers shared the user data on the internet, beyond just a blackmail application. Stefanko also noted that the app was never featured on the Android app store.

When the application is downloaded, the user requests permission to send and view messages, access files, record audio, and access contacts and device location. Such overly intrusive leave requests suspect victims under normal circumstances, but Stefanko said these permissions were normally met because they were messaging apps.

When these permissions and approval are given, the application’s messages are read, the list of contacts is accessed, and the photos can be viewed. Researchers warn users not to download apps other than the Google Play Store.

Stefanko warns users: “We recommend that users do not download applications from a source other than the official Google Play Store, except for secure sources such as trusted financial institutions or the existing security provider. In addition, users should pay attention to what permissions applications require and request permission beyond its functionality. As the most basic security measure, mobile devices should have a known security application. “

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