Friday, October 3, 2014 Flashlight App Dangers

Claim:   Flashlight apps are secretly tracking users' data and sending the information to cybercriminals. 

FALSE: Flashlight apps pose a higher risk to data security than other apps.
TRUE: One specific flashlight app was cited by the FTC for selling data to advertisers.

Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2014] 

Is this one true or not? Flashlight apps are sending info off your cellphone to china, India, and Russia.

I just read an alarming warning about flashlight apps for android. As both I and my daughters have these apps, I was looking to see if this report is accurate.

Heard a gentleman talk about flashlight apps sending your information to foreign governments in China and Russia and India. Once installed they can spy on your activities. Is there any truth to this? It was on Fox News

Origins:   On 1 October 2014, cybersecurity company Snoopwall released a "threat assessment report" discussing flashlight apps for Android devices and security threats they may pose. According to Snoopwall (who recommends using their flashlight instead of competitors' apps) the list of permissions required by most flashlight apps is proof that the apps' makers are harvesting data and sending it abroad to cybercriminals. 

A single flashlight app developer settled a complaint with the FTC over data collection policies in 2013. But the current anxiety over flashlight apps appears to have been prompted by the publicity surrounding the release of Snoopwalls' app rather than any specific breach of data security. 

Flashlight apps are no riskier than any other app. Versions of Android verified by Google ensure that apps are pre-screened for malware, reducing the risk of malicious mobile software. No reports have surfaced indicating flashlight apps are sending user data to cybercriminals in any country. All third party apps (including flashlights) pose the risk of hidden malware if their developers are not on the up-and-up. 

1 comment:

  1. Snopes are Dopes at information security. Proof:


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