Skip to main content

Uninstall Fake App Called “The Album by Google Photos”

By October 30, 2018June 2nd, 2022Cybersecurity

If you take a lot of photos with your Android device, you’re probably constantly on the lookout for a better way to organize them and access them.  That’s exactly what the authors of the malicious app called “The Album, by Google Photos” are hoping for.

The app put in a brief appearance on the Microsoft store, where it claimed to be from Google but it’s clearly not.  Unfortunately, the authors have gone to great lengths to make it appear legitimate, and as such, it has been downloaded and installed an alarming number of times.

When this app is installed and run for the first time, users are presented with a (legitimate) Google sign in page.  It is not known whether the authors of the app siphon user login credentials from this page, but it’s certainly possible. So if you have installed the app but haven’t run it yet, don’t log in.

Once you’re logged in, the app will connect to a malicious URL and download a configuration file.  Using the information contained in the config file, it will begin running in the background, displaying ads invisibly and then clicking on them, earning revenue for the app’s creators and slowing your Android device to a crawl in the process.

Note that the authors were careful, but only to a point.  Although the ads themselves are invisible, if those ads have an audio component, the user will hear the sounds associated with the ad, although of course, they won’t have any clear indication of where the sounds are coming from.  This is, in fact, how researchers became aware of the malicious nature of the app.

If you’ve downloaded this app, please uninstall it immediately.  Doing so will improve your device’s performance and stop those sounds that have no apparent source from troubling you further.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.