Malicious Wallpaper App Deemed Not So Malicious After All



If you fell in line with what seemed like a large portion of the Android community as MyLookout levied accusations of possible malicious intent at Jackeey Wu’s wallpaper app after discovering that it was collecting more data than necessary, you can come out from your bomb shelters and hidey-holes now, as all is well in the world. Google has lifted the suspension it placed it the app, which has now returned to the market. Google’s final verdict given to Wu?

“Our investigation has concluded that there is no obvious malicious code in your apps, though the implementation accesses data that it doesn’t need to.”

They then went on to provide some helpful information on best practices in app development and ways to avoid false accusations in the future by simply creating apps that collect no more data than necessary.

[via All Things Digital]

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  1. I have no interest in a wallpaper app to begin with, so I don’t really care that this particular app is malicious or not. However, “no obvious malicious code” and “accesses data that it doesn’t need to” is by no means a resounding endorsement.

  2. It was useless either way.

  3. Had anyone bothered to ask the app writer – app genome project, media, bloggers, they would’ve found out no password or voicemaill were stolen, only device info for personalization feature.

    None of this would’ve happened. Now someone’s reputation is ruined. Kudos for the abuse of power you media types. Whatever happened to fact check?

    Same thing back when the Aurora attack happened. Some blog said “Chinese fingerprint” and everyone jumped on it. Turned out the 4-bit nibble CRC code came from 25 year old Novell programming guide.

    Worse, there’s no effort to undo the damage that’s done. We basically can say anything about “Red Commie China” with impunity.

    As a minority citizen I am horrified to witness our media’s contribution towards America’s rising anti-Chinese sentiment.

  4. I feel quite sorry for this developer after all this. Hopefully he will update the apps to not access unnecessary data.

  5. Glad to hear since I was one of those who had an app installed from Jackeey. Lesson learned, luckily with no ill affects this time, and has made me much more suspicious of apps which ask for excessive or unnecessary permissions. I think since they have done it to this guy they should also take a look at Mabilo, just check out the permissions they want to have:

    Your personal information:
    read contact data, write contact data

    Your location:
    coarse (network-based) location

    Network communication:
    full Internet access, view network state

    Phone calls:
    read phone state and identity

    System tools:
    prevent phone from sleeping, set wallpaper

  6. unclemike: Android supports live wallpaper and that can be as complex as any app

  7. I think someone needs to look into this MyLookout company. I could have them confused but I thought I read in another article that they were trying to exclaim that Android is not safe because….they found a way to root a phone of all things. After I finished laughing I pointed out that these guys or whoever came up with this crap sound like they are just out for FUD.

    Now what really kills me is how iFools are bashing this guy and Android over security but then jumping for joy when they can root their phone by simply VISITING A WEBSITE. I don’t think I have seen not a one of them even start to realize the ridiculously huge security flaw they are cheering for. I just had a coworker brag to me that he jailbroke his phone via the website only to look dumbfounded when I pointed out the security risk there.

  8. Please see my posts in the original article Phandroid posted. I think MyLookout should lose all credibility now, but they won’t. They owe him a huge apology as do all of the other foolish media sites/blogs that circulated and reprinted the story including He was guilty until proven innocent and got his legs chopped out from underneath him. Any developer that looked into this could have told you it was a hell of an accusation based on the information that was available and now this guy is either going to have to start over with a new developer account and zero download numbers or suffer the unknown amount of damage to his reputation for a long period of time to come. I bet the iHoles lurking are laughing their tales off right now at crap like this. Just ridiculous.

  9. @Charles Liu

    they should not make an app that collects data they do not need, end of story, they ruined their own reputation by making an app that says does one thing… then also goes and does another without consent of the owner…. bringing FACT to light, like you said is what has been done, they don’t need that info and i don’t care if they can’t steal my SS number with what they get they still don’t need it and i won’t give it to them. nothing wrong has been done except by the author of the app.

  10. Another good job of fact checking Phandroid.

  11. im glad this’ll send a message to other developers not to try and collect unnecessary data from peoples cell phones.ban them all.

  12. @covert. When you download ANY app it gives you a list of permissions the app wants. The only reason the owner wouldn’t know us if they aren’t reading.

  13. @Charles Liu
    whilst the fact checking of the various news sites involved was woefully inadequate I feel I have to point out the ridiculousness of your suggestion, “ask the app writer”. I means seriously that has all the brilliant deductive logic of the American government asking people if they are a terrorist before they get on an Aeroplane, if the developer had gone to the effort of writing an app that collected peoples bank details do you really believe he’s then going to turn around and say, “yup it was me that did it”? Also, saying that people are doing nothing to undo the damage done in comments on an article doing just that makes you seem ridiculous.

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