Google’s Play Store has removed a cellphone application named Yellow Camera and other similar apps after tech security company Trend Micro warned that the application contained malware/adware that could allow unauthorized microtransactions.
Trend Micro on Oct. 18 posted to its blog a warning about the Yellow Camera app, saying that while it does function as advertised — as a photo or camera beautification app — the malware would allow others access to SMS verification codes and activate wireless application protocol (WAP) billing services.
WAP billing is an alternative payment method for users to buy content from WAP-enabled sites, with users’ phone bills or credits directly charged for the purchase. It does not require registering for services, key-in credentials or a credit or debit card.
The blog post warned that the app, while mainly targeting users in Malaysia and Thailand, has also appeared to target Chinese-speaking users.
While the Google Play Store has already removed the program from its listings, the blog also said that the creators of the program uploaded it to the iOS App Store as well.
The blog said that these tactics are not new, and the process behind the methodology is targeting security protocols as well as systems that mitigate or deter the abuse of device functionality.
It also suggested that users read reviews before downloading software and install security software to prevent malware from affecting their devices.