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Secret Network of 27 Dodgy Android App Developers Unveiled

Researchers have caught a network of developers behind over a hundred Android apps on the Play Store. The apps boasting over 69 million active installations exhibited suspicious behavior and sought dangerous permissions.

CyberNews unveiled a network of developers behind a large number of Android apps on Google Play Store. Sharing their findings in a blog post, researchers revealed that they found 101 different Android applications exhibiting similar behavior. Though, they seemed unrelated to each other. Yet, the apps with over 69 million installations had numerous similarities which hint towards their connection.

Briefly, all the apps sought dangerous permissions not needed for their functionality. For instance, a call recording app seeking permission to take pictures and record videos. Or, a calculator app seeking access to camera and phone state. Likewise, they noticed phone cooling apps demanding access to phone status, location, and edit files. Such contrasting behavior hints towards the potential risk to users’ privacy and security.

Explaining this behavior, the researchers mentioned two possible scenarios, where the latter sounds more accurate considering the shady behavior of the apps.

Many of the apps had the same Privacy Policy, the same incomplete Firebase website listed as the app’s site, and duplicate APKs. Moreover, almost all of them unapologetically copied popular apps’ UI with only minor changes.

Apart from the similarities in apps’ behavior, researchers also noticed a similar naming pattern of the app developers. Specifically, they observed that the developers had two-part Western names (with two exceptions). Thus, they dubbed the developers’ network as 2NAD (two-name app developer network).

  • Virgilo Malley
  • Daniel Malley
  • Alex Joe
  • Hudson Parker
  • Wilfred Wessner
  • Adaline Garraway
  • Armel Bilton
  • Noble Gracious
  • Arrow Frankie
  • Lukas Podolskies
  • Rusty Mari
  • Weldon Hazeltine
  • Jacinto Macias
  • Flavia Sleeman
  • Douglas Morace
  • Dulcie Lawing
  • Kylian Mbapee
  • ProCam – HD Camera
  • Evan Well
  • Samuels Dynamo
  • Fruit VPN – Better Connect
  • Carrie Waters
  • Antoine Kenyon
  • Darry Cowlly
  • Gaspard Aden
  • Alfred Persen
  • Hwan Seon

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