Symantec has found a privacy-infringing application called Call Cheater Lite previously distributed on Google Play that may also result in unwanted SMS charges . The purpose of this app is to block unwanted phone calls from certain individuals (debt collectors, ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, etc.) by giving the owner of the phone the ability to play any sound or pre-recorded message to an offensive or unwanted caller. According to the application description, the user can configure the app to play a pre-recorded message or sound to make the caller believe that the phone is disconnected or out of service.
While that sounds like a good idea at first (especially if you are annoyed by a constant barrage of unwanted calls), this application also sends out the following information:
- International mobile equipment identity (IMEI)
- Mobile equipment identifier (MEID)
- Electronic serial numbers (ESNs)
- Phone number
- Locally configured email address
- Device information such as the name of the device
Additionally, there is code present that asks the user if they liked the app. If the user selects “yes”, the app asks the user if they would be interested in purchasing the full version, but if they dislike the app and select “no”, the app asks why the user does not like the app. Unfortunately, regardless of what the user does at this point, an international rate SMS message—which is not free—is queued for sending. It is then sent to a number located in India (+919845355330).
Symantec has reached out to Google and notified them of the inappropriate behavior of this app. The app has since been removed from Google Play due to the violation of its terms of service agreement.
Symantec detects this app as Android.Iconosys.
Note: We have seen apps with the same name and description being distributed in third-party Android app stores. It would be wise to use caution when downloading apps with the name of “Call Cheater Lite” from any app store.