Android device owners can perhaps stop frantically deleting apps from their phones. An app that appeared to represent a serious security risk – supposedly transmitting users’ passwords, browsing histories, and text messages to someone in China – has been found to mine much less data than early reports indicated.
The scare started when, at the Black Hat Security Conference, representatives of mobile security firm Lookout talked about an app called Jackeey Wallpaper. They either misspoke or were misquoted, and word spread that the app transmitted far too much personal information.
That created something of an uproar, since Jackeey Wallpaper has been downloaded more than a million times.
But later, Quentyn Kennemer was able to write, "MyLookout chimed in with us to clarify some details . . . . Specifically, the app does collect data from your phone, but only the device’s phone number, subscriber identifier, and voicemail number fields are retrieved. SMS and browsing history are not touched by any of the apps they analyzed throughout their Blackhat conference."
Kennemer then continued, "Your voicemail’s password is also not transmitted unless you included the password in your phone’s voicemail number field."
So Android users should remain cautious about what apps they download, always researching the developers behind them, but it doesn’t look like any massive security breach has occurred.