You may or may not have heard of Meitu before this week – that’s a given. But in the last couple of days, usage of the Chinese photo filter app has escalated to great proportions, making it one of the top iPhone apps this week. A lot of Android users have installed it, too. But due to the huge number of permissions the app asks for when installed, it had access to information on your phone that it shouldn’t even need. And just today, it was discovered to be sending your phone’s info over to several digital locations in China.
Why are a lot of people installing Meitu? Well, the premise of the app is the same as your Snapchat filters – letting you turn selfies into anime-style caricatures. And believe us, a LOT of people like these kinds of apps. But FourOctets initially pointed out the huge number of permissions the app wants. Nobody seemed to mind, but this has turned somewhat sinister now.
FourOctets continued its investigation and found out that the app has sent out phone IMEI numbers – unique phone identification numbers – to a number of IP addresses, some of those connected to other malware installations.
Whatever this investigation leads to, one thing we know for sure: you need to UNINSTALL the app right the heck now if you’re using it. More info on this as it becomes available.