November 26, 2014

App Genome Project Uncovers Wallpaper App That Steals Your Data

The team behind mobile security firm Lookout have been looking at hundreds of thousands of Android and iPhone apps as part of their new App Genome project.  This new initiative was created explicitly to keep mobile users safe from malicious apps.  Have they found anything worthwhile to report?  You betcha. Try this one on:  There is an “app” called Wallpaper,  All Categories that steals your data and reports to a server in China.

Looking at the listing in the Android Market, one can see that between 50,000 and 250,000 people have downloaded this app.  However, VentureBeat is reporting that the number ranges from 1.1 million to 4.6 million downloads.  Either way, that’s an awful lot of people out there inadvertently sharing sensitive material. What exactly is being reported to the server? According to Lookout, a user’s SIM card number, subscriber identification, text messages, and (potentially) voicemail passwords.

It’s not known whether the developers intentionally sought out this information or if it was simple oversight.  You may recall a recent incident with Citibank’s iPhone app which was storing customer account data on the handset.  In that case, the developer quickly plugged the hole and released an updated version of the app.  Still, it’s hard to imagine the wallpaper situation being accidental.  Lookout hesitates to brand it as malicious until the developers intent is known.

So what do you do as an Android user?  First, uninstall anything you have from jackeey, wallpaper.  At the time this article was drafted there were 72 titles in the Android Market.  After you remove the app(s), head to m.myLookout.com and grab a free copy of the mobile security app.

Maybe Google policing the Android Market isn’t so bad after all…

Source: CNET, VentureBeat



  • W Prato

    This is why I had Lookout on my new Captivate right away! Didn't know what info was leaving my phone and read that this program was really good.

  • Shane

    I have used Lookout since day 1 on my Incredible, always better to be safe than sorry.
    It works great, doesn't slow down my phone, this is a must have fror people who like to check out all different kinds of apps

  • Kevin

    I don't think I would have installed a wallpaper app that needed access to my Messages, Contacts, and the Internet.

    • http://www.eduardomaio.net Eduardo

      This is what all sites forget to mention in this article.

  • http://www.mushive.com Nabeel Ahmed

    Here’s a checklist of Things To Consider Before Downloading Apps From Android Market to be safe from these attacks.

  • AASonyKK

    You see, that the permissions required are a lot (position, personal material ecc..) for a wallpaper? mmmm, one "normal" person go to read the review, and you see a lot of peoples who think that the app is a virus.
    Now a "normal" person DON'T DOWNLOAD this!!!!

    If you download all without read nothing, you search the virus!