If you use an app called CamScanner for scanning documents, you might want to consider booting it off from your phone immediately. A study by the security firm, Kaspersky has found malware inside CamScanner — an app which has been around for about a decade and accumulated 100 million downloads on Android.
The report says security researchers discovered malicious code inside the CamScanner’s versions published between June and July. CamScanner’s developers reportedly added a new advertisement module in that period.
The malware, once activated, is capable of executing and downloading additional malign files on its own in the background. On CamScanner specifically, the module was programmed to launch intrusive ads across the entire phone. In a few cases, it also signed up users for paid subscriptions without their consent.
Since the revelations went live on Kaspersky’s blog, Google has taken down CamScanner from the Android app store.
In a statement, CamScanner agreed that a new ad SDK called AdHub they’ve added was responsible for this and said: “after rounds of security checks, we have not found any evidence showing the module could cause any leak of document data.”
The company has tweeted the latest build of the app if users wish to update the one installed on their phone. The issue doesn’t seem to affect CamScanner’s iOS client.
However, at least until Google green-lights CamScanner’s new build and allows it back on the Play Store, it’s best to stay clear of the app. Besides, this isn’t the first time CamScanner has found itself in such a crisis. Earlier this year in April, an update brought loud, full-screen video commercials to the app.
CamScanner actively began to make headlines for all the wrong reasons after it was acquired by a China-based company, Instig. Interestingly, the harmful code found on the app’s recent versions is known to come pre-installed on Chinese phones.
For those looking for an alternative, there is a host of options available. The one we recommend is Microsoft’s Office Lens which comes with all the features you’d want from a document scanner and a smart algorithm which can automatically crop documents, whiteboard shots, and more.
You can also simply employ the Google Drive app which most likely is already installed on your phone. To use the document-scanning feature, tap the Plus button at the bottom right corner on the app’s home page and then select Scan.
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