Lookout, a Mobile Security Firm, Claims Android App Downloaded by ‘Millions’ Sends Personal Data to Server in China

Dean Takahashi, reporting for MobileBeat:

The app in question came from Jackeey Wallpaper, and it was uploaded to the Android Market, where users can download it and use it to decorate their phones that run the Google Android operating system. It includes branded wallpapers from My Little Pony and Star Wars, to name just a couple.

It collects your browsing history, text messages, your phone’s SIM card number, subscriber identification, and even your voicemail password. It sends the data to a web site, www.imnet.us. That site is evidently owned by someone in Shenzhen, China. The app has been downloaded anywhere from 1.1 million to 4.6 million times. The exact number isn’t known because the Android Market doesn’t offer precise data.

I’m sure this story will get just as much attention as if it had been an iPhone app that did this. I’d like to see more proof from Lookout, though. Up to 4 million downloads?

Update: The article has been updated regarding what information the app captures: “Update: Lookout notes it does not capture browsing history and text messages.

Update 2: Lookout has posted details on their weblog.

Thursday, 29 July 2010