Google Play Store app leaks conversations, data via unprotected database | Mobile News

Google Play Store app leaks conversations, data via unprotected database

Recent research has revealed an app on the Google Play Store which is leaking sensitive user data through its unprotected database.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 23 2023, 16:02 IST
Beware of fake ChatGPT apps! Already downloaded? Delete now
Google Play Store
1/6 OpenAI's ChatGPT portal is rapidly gaining popularity. It uses state-of-the-art language processing techniques to generate human-like responses to text input and  interacts conversationally with users to provide detailed answers on a wide range of topics.  (Bloomberg)
Google Play Store
2/6 But if you are looking to download the app from your Google Play Store or App Store, then beware! There are several fake ChatGPT-like apps that can be dangerous for your device.  (Bloomberg)
Google Play Store
3/6 You can find a bunch of fake ChatGPT apps on Google Play Store and App Store which can steal your data, a report by top10vpn revealed.  Hence, if you have already downloaded them, then you should hurry and delete them quickly. (REUTERS)
Google Play Store
4/6 Some of these apps on Android are: AI Chat Companion, ChatGPT 3: ChatGPT AI, Talk GPT – Talk to ChatGPT, ChatGPT AI Writing Assistant, Open Chat – AI Chatbot App. (Bloomberg)
Google Play Store
5/6 Some apps are also available on Apple's App Store, which include: Genie - GPT AI Assistant, Write For Me GPT AI Assistant, ChatGPT - GPT 3, Alfred - Chat with GPT 3, Chat w. GPT AI - Write This, ChatGPT - AI Writing apps, Wiz AI Chat Bot Writing Helper, Chat AI: Personal AI Assistant, and Wisdom Ai - Your AI Assistant.  (AFP)
image caption
6/6 However, it must be noted that OpenAI does not have an official standalone app for ChatGPT. Hence, you can use the feature in your browser while login to the official website at www.chat.openai.com/chat.  (AP)
Google Play Store
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This Google Play Store app poses a huge risk to your phone’s security. (Pixabay)

The Google Play Store provides access to countless apps for various purposes. However, with the convenience of having so many options comes the potential danger of some apps being identified as malicious as they contain harmful code, violating users' privacy, stealing their data, and other risks. Even though Google's Play Protect system monitors apps diligently, some of them may still be malicious and go undetected, which can leave users vulnerable.

Research conducted by Cybernews has revealed an app on the Google Play Store through which hackers could steal user's data. The app in discussion is OyeTalk. With over 5 million downloads on the Google Play Store, OyeTalk is a popular voice-chat app which lets users host podcasts, interact with each other in discussion rooms and more. According to the report, the app had left its database unprotected, leaving users' private conversations and data exposed.

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Cybernews reported that researchers discovered OyeTalk leaking data through open and unprotected access to Google's mobile application development platform called Firebase. More than 500MB of data such as user conversations, usernames, and IMEI numbers were exposed due to an open Firebase instance which did not have encryption. The report further states that the app developers were informed of the data leak but failed to close public access to the database.

Not sure which
mobile to buy?

If harmful apps are downloaded onto your smartphone, they can not only steal your data but also make your phone vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and even render it unusable, turning it into an expensive and useless paperweight. Therefore, if you have the app installed on your Android phone, you should be careful about your data.

While downloading apps from the Google Play Store, there are signs users can watch out for before pressing the download button.

Signs to watch out for to catch the online criminals:

1. See the app permissions

With the new Android updates, whenever you download any app, it asks you for various permissions depending on its purpose. You should always keep an eye out for any app asking for unusual permissions such as access to your personal information, contacts and more.

2. Check the reviews

Always check the app reviews before downloading it. People post app reviews based on their user experience.

3. See the number of downloads

Any app that is potentially harmful might have only a handful of downloads. So, only download apps which have already been downloaded a respectable number of times.

4. Read the app description

Google Play Store provides an app description along with information about the app creator. You can click on the developer's name to see a list of other apps they have developed. Therefore, only install apps from trustworthy sources.

Having said this, remember not to trust any website, message or caller regarding their claims. Always do your due diligence thoroughly to stay safe.

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First Published Date: 23 Feb, 15:52 IST
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