It is not a secret that Android SDK is quite permissive - it provides rich set of APIs to developers. Some of this permissions can turn out to be very dangerous. Play Store is full of apps with very questionable activity. One example is GO Keyboard, which is spying on users.
Sometimes normal looking apps can turn to be malicious. Google can’t possibly catch and prevent such situations, so the responsibility is also on user to stay vigilant.
Installing unnecesary apps can cause a headache. To illustrate the point we can look at flashlight apps. They are pretty good example. In ancient times there was no standard flashlight app. But since Android 5.0 such app exist and there is almost no need for any special app.
- Flashlight apps could harbor furtive code to steal your personal data and send it to foreign cybercriminals
- This flashlight app for Android wants to steal all your money
- Flashlight Apps Snuck Malware Into Google’s Play Store, Targeting Bank Accounts
On most phones build-in app can be accessed from the notification drawer. Just slide it down and find the flashlight icon.
Here it is on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge:
Or on Google Pixel:
Or find how to do that on any of the countless number of websites: google it
Be careful what apps you install on on your phone. Information from the Play Store can’t be fully trusted:
- Installs can be bought
- App reviews can be bought
- Good app itself can be bougnt and turned into malicious
- Protection tools & systems in Play Store (Static and analysis checks, Play Protect) can miss bad apps.