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Kinky Android X-ray app laid bare as malware

Symantec warns it'll try to extort victims

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Japanese mobile users are being warned not to download an Android app promising to allow them to see through clothes with the phone’s camera, as the malware hidden within will steal address book data and try to blackmail them to the tune of ¥29,000 (£202).

The app's first manifestation is usually an SMS message appearing to come from a friend. That message recommends the recipient try the “Infrared X-Ray” app, Symantec researcher Joji Hamada wrote in a blog post.

If the Android user decides to follow the link and download the app, the victim’s contact details will be uploaded to a third party server so that similar text messages can be spammed out to their friends and family.

Some versions of the app merely end with a picture of a man giving the user the finger and the words “You Pervert!” displayed in Japanese.

However, Symantec warned that other variants attempt to extort money from the victim:

While the contact data is being stolen and sent to the malware author, the new variants also download and display registration details for a website hosting adult content. The app no longer attempts to turn the camera on like it did previously. Instead, it displays a splash screen for a second or two before displaying a message stating that registration has completed and the victim is asked pay 29,000 yen for the “service”.

SMS messages are then sent reminding the user of the payment details and threatening to tell their friends and family about the app if they don’t cough up the money.

The app removes itself from the launcher immediately after execution, in order to make it harder to uninstall, although it can be wiped in Applications, under Settings, Symantec said. ®

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