Popular antivirus for Android proved to be a dangerous spy

Despite the fact that real viruses for Android are not as popular as desktop platforms, many still prefer on a regular basis to use antivirus programs. In the end, they do not just search and removal of viruses, but also worms, Trojans, miners, and malicious programs of other types. That’s probably why we are so trusted them that we even not think to check for lice yourself antivirus. But they, as it turned out, can lead us followed worse than any app-spy.

Not all antivirus safe. Some people follow you as apps, spy

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Researchers team VPNPro tested 15 antivirus software for Android and found that six of them prompt the user privileges that do not affect their work. As a rule, had access to camera, microphone, calls, SMS messages and internal memory. Despite evidence that anti-viruses have used these features to spy on users, these permissions don’t affect their functionality, and thus could be used to collect confidential information.

Antiviruses to remove

  • Security Master – 500 million downloads;
  • Antivirus Free 2019 – 10 million downloads;
  • Virus Cleaner 2019 – 50 million downloads;
  • Virus Cleaner, Antivirus, Cleaner (Max Security) – 50 million downloads;
  • Super Phone Cleaner: Virus Cleaner, Phone Cleaner – 50 million downloads;
  • Clean Master – 1 billion downloads.

See also: Google asked the antivirus companies to search for viruses in Google Play

It’s possible that you’ve never used these antiviruses or even heard about their existence. However, as evident by the number of downloads, they are quite popular, as together they were downloaded more than 1.6 billion users. Fortunately, Google agreed with the experts VPNPro and removed from Google Play all these antivirus, perceiving them as a threat. Another thing is that even if the search giant failed to prevent the further spread of dangerous software, a huge number of users are still exposed to danger.

See also: Why Google Assistant accidentally turns on and records your conversations

A detailed study of the situation showed that all the antiviruses that VPNPro and Google considered dangerous, released the Chinese developers. Not only that, they sent some data to servers geographically located in China, and some of them directly monitor the location of their victims, and then probably sold them to the side. As a rule, buying this kind of data are advertisers or so-called data brokers who in turn resell them to operators, advertisers, retailers and other companies.

Do you need antivirus for Android

Despite what is written above, ignore the antivirus is still not worth it. Practice shows that sometimes they can be the only way to remove malicious software. A living example – Trojan xHelper, which manages to remain in the memory of the infected smartphone even after a hard reset and roll back to factory settings. Therefore, if you choose an antivirus for future use, we recommend to pay attention to the decisions of famous studios like Malwarebytes, Doctor Web, Kaspersky Lab, ESET, etc.

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