Unofficial K-ON! Android App Secretly Leaked Personal Data

posted on by Egan Loo
Google removes 16 anime/game video apps that leaked users' info, contact lists

The American computer security company McAfee and the Japanese computer security company NetAgent identified over a dozen Japanese apps for Android smartphones that claimed to show videos of anime, games, and other content — but secretly sent out the user's personal information to a remote server. One of the apps was an unofficial program (pictured right) that purported to have videos of the K-ON! anime. Google removed these apps from its Google Play market on Friday, but over 60,000 users had already downloaded the apps.

Before installing each of these apps, the Android operating system warns the user that the app requests access to the user's contact data, phone state, and identity. If the user installs and runs the app despite the warnings, the app will send the smartphone's Android ID, phone number, and entire contact list. McAfee has given these apps the designation "Android/DougaLeaker.A" in its list of malware ("Trojan horses," viruses, and other malicious computer software).

NetAgent identified the following video apps that secretly sent information from the user's smartphone such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers:

Apps from developer "tsunakan"

  • K-ON! Dōga (K-ON! Video)
  • Umai-Bō Tsukurō! (Umai-Bo Harvest) the Movie
  • Renda no Tatsujin (MasterHits) the Movie
  • Charisō (Bike Rider) the Movie
  • Piyomori the Movie
  • Karate Chop! (KarateMaster) the Movie
  • Makaimura Kishi Retsuden (Ghosts'n Goblins: Gold Knights) the Movie
  • 3D Shiryoku Kaifuku (Sight Recover 3D) the Movie
  • GangHound the Movie

Apps from developer "hamunaruka"

  • Ōmori Momotarō (momotaro1000) the Movie
  • Wally o Sagase! (Where's Waldo?) the Movie
  • Momotarō Dentetsu the Movie
  • Mega Mori Potato (Mega-Sized French Fries) the Movie
  • FC2 Dōga Matome (FC2 Video Summary)
  • Snoopy Street (Snoopy's Street Fair) the Movie
  • Sukumizu Dōga (School Swimsuit Video)

In 2008, the Kyoto District Court found Masato Nakatsuji guilty of distributing Clannad anime images with hidden malware on the Winny file-sharing network, and it gave him a suspended sentence. Since there was no law in Japan against the creation of malware, the 24-year-old former Osaka Electro-Communication University graduate student was actually charged with violating Clannad's copyrights and defaming another student.

Source: NHK News, TBS via PC Magazine

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