Japanese agency warns of information-stealing Android porn app

A Japanese IT security agency says the wallpaper app, downloaded 500,000 times, actually 'steals' private information from users

A Japanese Internet security agency has issued a public warning about Android apps that offer free images of scantily clad models to trick users into giving up their personal details.

An in-depth analysis of one Japanese app called "Porno Sexy Model Wallpaper," downloaded over 500,000 times, was offered as an example. The warning was issued Friday by the Information-Technology Promotion Agency (IPA), a government-sponsored body based in Tokyo.

"Currently it can't be said that 'Downloading apps directly from 'Google Play' is safe,'" the agency said in a statement.

"While this app does have the function of displaying wallpapers, it can be said that the app is actually fraudulent meant to steal details such as mobile phone information."

The IPA recommended that users avoid the Google Play store, and instead download apps from online stores operated by Japan's major operators, such as the "d-Market" from NTT DoCoMo. It also said users should install security software on their phones.

The IPA demonstrated how the app, available until recently on the Google Play store, requests user permission to access information including location and Google account details, with a distracting image of a smiling woman as the icon. The agency said that while the app is not technically a virus or trojan horse, it does send user details to a third-party server with no apparent benefit to the user.

The app had a 4.5 rating on the Japanese version of Google Play, with over 7,000 reviews, and showed between 500,000 and a million downloads. It was uploaded to the store in July of last year.

Upon being launched, the app displays a full-screen image of a pretty girl, while sending the information in the background. In some cases users need to scroll down to read the fine print about what they are agreeing to, while an "OK" button sits at the top of page.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacymobile securityInformation-Technology Promotion Agency

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?