Thursday, 06 February 2014 15:41

Beware of snoopy Valentine apps

By

A security vendor has warned that along with the usual seasonal scams, a number of Valentine's Day related apps are privacy invaders.

We're used to spammers and scammers using seasonal themes to get our attention, but security software developer Bitdefender has warned of Valentine apps that demand wider privileges than necessary for their overt functionality.

The concern is that such apps may be phoning home with information that most of us would consider confidential.

The company provided two specific examples, both of which are still available via Google Play (though we deliberately chose not to link to them):

Valentine's Day 2014 Wallpaper - requests access to location, phone calls, web bookmarks and history, and even contact lists. Bitdefender officials conceded "These permissions are most likely sought by the ad-placing network SDK" but it is hard to imagine how the developer or its advertising partner could justify that degree of intrusion.

Love Letters for Chat, Status - requests the ability to call phone numbers, add or modify calendar events, read calendar events plus confidential information, send email without the owner's knowledge, read and modify contacts, read and call log, read web bookmarks and history, and record audio. All this just to display "More than 1000 Arabic Love Quotes, Love Letters and Love Poems you can share with friends", according to the app's description.

"Some data should never be shared even with people you know, let alone with those you don't know. It's unlikely a stranger is working over the internet in your best interests," said Bitdefender spokesperson Loredana Botezatu.

She also noted a recent increase in Valentine's Day related scams directed at PC users.

"Fake diamond rings, flower arrangement deals, chocolate boxes and other online Valentine's Day specials just might grab your online identity instead of your heart this year, turning your PC into a zombie in a botnet or steal credit card details."

Image: Marc Tasman (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments