Rogue Infowar/PrisonPlanet Andriod App Collecting Calls and Location Info

Author Topic: Rogue Infowar/PrisonPlanet Andriod App Collecting Calls and Location Info  (Read 2263 times)

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Offline silenthero

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It would appear someone is spying on Infowar listeners user base who use Android OS to listen to the show. Identifying who they talk to, when and where they are located.

I installed the Android app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.droidworks.android.alexjones&hl=en "The Complete Alex Jones" Version 3.0.2 from the Google's PlayStore. In particular the application requires the permissions 'Phone Calls' and 'Your Location'. It also is built to start when the phone starts, which is odd as it is just an application to access your podcast and live stream. Not an application one would consider needing to run in the background. The user base complain of shortened battery life, indicating that it is actively monitoring activity.

For your reference in case you are unaware:
http://www.androidcentral.com/look-application-permissions
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Phone calls -- read phone state and identity

The most abused, and least understood permission of them all.  Some apps need to know if your phone is about to ring.  Maybe they need to save state (ie freeze what they're doing) for when the incoming call screen pops up, or they need to turn over audio control back to the OS.  But this is also the one that can read, and send your IMEI and other identifying information back to some random server in Russia or God knows where.  Often, these unique numbers are needed as piracy control, or to keep track of you without using any more sensitive personal information.  The issue is when developers use these numbers for things like remembering your preferences for online services or app history.  Remember the big wallpaper app scare?  After some investigation, we learned the developer was using your device ID to keep track of your favorite wallpapers on his servers.  Seemingly harmless, but not the right way to handle it.  My only advice here is to be sure you trust the developers of the app when you see this one.  Or take a moment to email them and ask why they need this permission.

Your location -- coarse (network-based) location; fine (GPS) location

These two are no-brainers.  If an app needs to know where you are, it has to know where you are.  If an app gets its revenue from location-based ads, it needs to know where you are.  If an app has any mapping abilities, it needs to know where you are.  And finally, if an app tells you information about finding things like businesses, it needs to know where you are.  If you don't want these apps to know where you are, turn off the location services on your phone and don't install the app.  If you want an app to tell you where to find cheap gas, you're going to have to let it know where to look.


Thank you for taking the time to read this.