Home

Share this Story

Lookout Clarifies Accusations Against “Suspicious” Wallpaper App

The Android app world was taken a little by storm yesterday when a report broke through Venturebeat, that a wallpaper app on the market, which “had been downloaded millions of times,” was stealing information from users and sending it off to a mysterious server somewhere in China.  (Oh no China!)  The company behind these accusations was non other than mobile Android security app maker, Lookout who had just finished up, what they consider to be a major Android security project.  Now at first glance, the story came off a little scary and was quickly picked up by over a dozen major news outlets, all jumping on the “Android has no control” bandwagon.  And then today happened.

AndroidTapp and Android Central contacted the developer of the app in question, finding out that the report is apparently, complete BS.  In fact, they have thrown together a step-by-step visual guide plus an interview explaining the absurdity of the claims made by Lookout who has now clarified their claims after their initial stance was called into question.  It’s too bad the damage has already been done to both Android’s reputation and the developer.

Yikes.

Hello LookoutVenturebeatMaliciousChinaServer-gate.

Via:  AndroidTapp, Androinica, VentureBeat, Android Central

  • guesssst

    sorry, but Android Central got to the dev first, as well as broke the whole story.

  • AnDroidSepTIX

    IF you were downloading that wallpaper shown in the picture above you should have your information stolen by a chinaman and your phone display melt for putting something so… well you know… on your phone. I never really liked LOOKOUT cause its constantly running. Ive been using super security and seems to work well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chicojd Jd Davis

    Now Android has been “Sharroded”

  • dannyyang524

    Damn you Lookout! >:O They're working for Apple!

  • http://twitter.com/GuyWithDogs Warrick Wilson

    It's all about the page views, because that's what generates revenue.

  • Jager07

    Media does what media does. I'm more concerned about Lookout. I use the app, but this news brings into question it's validity and reputation. Not good.

  • Pog-Mo-Thoin

    If it's on the interwebs, it must be true, and the more damaging the piece, the faster it will spread, whether it's factual or not. If a story pops up on a few “credible” sites, major media outlets will run with it without researching the story and checking with sources to make sure it's the truth. And once the damage is done, they move on to the next sensational story that will bring them more readers or viewers.

  • http://twitter.com/marcodecca marco decca

    I call dibs on his phone and shoelaces

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

    Unfortunately That Wasn't A Could It Be Real Or Not…That Was A Problem Anybody Could Replicate Very Easily And Apple Was So Arrogant Saying That The I*hone 4 Was The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!

  • John Q.

    Now you know how the iPhone 4 antennagate story got blown out of proportion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

    Or Is It Just This Wallpaper App In Question?

  • http://twitter.com/MrBouche MrBouche

    I delete wallpaper apps after I download the wallpapers I want I may have downloaded one of those in question.

    Lookout reported this? Weird, because I have Lookout and it had scanned them all and never flagged one as suspicious…. Which is weird. So it let me download them, scanned them and reported them as fine and monitored the apps doing these things? Weird. So, what was the point of this app again? LOL, *ahem* weird.

  • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

    Off with his head!!!! lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

    So Because I Am Using “Lookout” Virus Scan Software, All Of My Information Was Released To Someone Else…?

  • MuddyB00ts

    if by steel, you mean cardboard and duct tape, I am all over it. Kellex, expect it in 8-46 weeks :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoyR80 Roy Rader

    Boo. :-(

  • Patem10

    Seriously, if you are loser enough to download one of those garbage wallpaper apps, then you can't be at all surprised when something like this comes up.The people downloading these things must be the ones that keep the male enhancement spam industry afloat….

  • Racket

    Eventually people either find a trustworthy news source or stop paying attention. It is a situation that will take care of itself. “Find out why you child may die it their sleep tonight, our local forecast and more, tune into eyewitness news at 11″.

  • saimin

    Really disappointing how all the bloggers just repeat each other without ever checking the facts of the “story”.

  • Droidzilla

    Oh noes! What about Custom Theme Friday?!

    MuddyB00ts, you'd better make Kellex one of those sweet, steel stands so that he feels better!

  • MuddyB00ts

    LOL I am sooooooooooooooooo sorry! I put myself at the mercy of the droid-life court. :'(

  • Es

    “a certain fruit themed company” hahaha

  • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

    Yikes….lol
    Someone needs a lollipop! :-P

  • wes

    this is the problem I see with a lot of tech bloggers (not referring to this blog necessarily). They're not skeptical enough of press releases these corporations send out to them and just take them at face value. In an effort to be the first with the scoop, many times they'll run with a one-source story without checking the claims out beforehand. I know they can always go back and update or clarify the post, but most of the times the corrections go unnoticed and the original story and its errors are all that are remembered.

  • Droidzilla

    A very true and sad portrayal of modern media. I think that the real problem, however, lies with the people themselves. It's the old, “Who watches the Watchmen?” Accuracy is no longer demanded by the people, thus it is no longer espoused by journalism. Ratings will always drive media (especially the television medium); if sensationalism brings more ratings than accuracy, all that means is that the people would rather be entertained than informed.

    OK, I'm ending my rant before I wax too political. Sorry for the tangent; go back to your Droids.

  • kellex

    Nope, you have completely offended me and I'll be taking the rest of the weekend off to weep in a puddle of cheap german sauerkraut juice. :P

  • ircmaxell

    Because people will believe it. And because there's no such thing as actual reporting these days. Reporters (even professional ones) will just regurgitate what they are told rather than trying to research anything or (heaven forbid) even trying to portray both sides to the story…

    I had horrific experiences with the media when I was heading the security team for a major open source project. They would publish blatant lies that even 5 minutes worth of research would discredit. And hence the damage is done, and they get away scott-free because their bosses care more about page views than anything else (such as integrity, responsibility or even fairness).

    And the major media companies (who are just as guilty) wonder why they are bleeding money like a stuck pig…

  • MuddyB00ts

    lol I knew YOU were joking. I was just saying I've seen this kind of thing about Android before and the -gate suffix has been thrown around seriously.
    BTW I love this site, I don't post all that often but I hardly try anything with my Droid until I see how readers here feel about it cuz the information is always good here. Keep up the good work!

  • kellex

    It was just a bad “gate” joke. :(

  • kellex

    Amen to that.

  • MuddyB00ts

    It's really too bad that everyone has to make a -gate out of everything because certain fruit themed company stories get a ridonkulous amount of hits. But hey, I've seen more positive press for Android than any other mobile OS recently so boom-shakalaka! <–Finding Nemo :)

  • Droidzilla

    Why anyone would look at a “security threat report” coming from a security app maker as anything other than ad copy is beyond me.

  • skltr21

    first!

  • Jay P

    first

  • Andrew Hewitt

    First, sorry gentlemen.

  • dannyyang524

    Damn you Lookout! >:O They're working for Apple!

  • Jager07

    Media does what media does. I'm more concerned about Lookout. I use the app, but this news brings into question it's validity and reputation. Not good.

  • Pog-Mo-Thoin

    If it's on the interwebs, it must be true, and the more damaging the piece, the faster it will spread, whether it's factual or not. If a story pops up on a few “credible” sites, major media outlets will run with it without researching the story and checking with sources to make sure it's the truth. And once the damage is done, they move on to the next sensational story that will bring them more readers or viewers.

  • John Q.

    Now you know how the iPhone 4 antennagate story got blown out of proportion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

      Unfortunately That Wasn't A Could It Be Real Or Not…That Was A Problem Anybody Could Replicate Very Easily And Apple Was So Arrogant Saying That The I*hone 4 Was The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!

  • http://twitter.com/MrBouche MrBouche

    I delete wallpaper apps after I download the wallpapers I want I may have downloaded one of those in question.

    Lookout reported this? Weird, because I have Lookout and it had scanned them all and never flagged one as suspicious…. Which is weird. So it let me download them, scanned them and reported them as fine and monitored the apps doing these things? Weird. So, what was the point of this app again? LOL, *ahem* weird.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

    So Because I Am Using “Lookout” Virus Scan Software, All Of My Information Was Released To Someone Else…?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Janacek/1087230071 Mike Janacek

      Or Is It Just This Wallpaper App In Question?

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoyR80 Roy Rader

    Boo. :-(

  • Patem10

    Seriously, if you are loser enough to download one of those garbage wallpaper apps, then you can't be at all surprised when something like this comes up.The people downloading these things must be the ones that keep the male enhancement spam industry afloat….

  • saimin

    Really disappointing how all the bloggers just repeat each other without ever checking the facts of the “story”.

    • http://twitter.com/GuyWithDogs Warrick Wilson

      It's all about the page views, because that's what generates revenue.

  • wes

    this is the problem I see with a lot of tech bloggers (not referring to this blog necessarily). They're not skeptical enough of press releases these corporations send out to them and just take them at face value. In an effort to be the first with the scoop, many times they'll run with a one-source story without checking the claims out beforehand. I know they can always go back and update or clarify the post, but most of the times the corrections go unnoticed and the original story and its errors are all that are remembered.

  • MuddyB00ts

    It's really too bad that everyone has to make a -gate out of everything because certain fruit themed company stories get a ridonkulous amount of hits. But hey, I've seen more positive press for Android than any other mobile OS recently so boom-shakalaka! <–Finding Nemo :)

    • kellex

      It was just a bad “gate” joke. :(

      • MuddyB00ts

        lol I knew YOU were joking. I was just saying I've seen this kind of thing about Android before and the -gate suffix has been thrown around seriously.
        BTW I love this site, I don't post all that often but I hardly try anything with my Droid until I see how readers here feel about it cuz the information is always good here. Keep up the good work!

        • kellex

          Nope, you have completely offended me and I'll be taking the rest of the weekend off to weep in a puddle of cheap german sauerkraut juice. :P

          • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

            Yikes….lol
            Someone needs a lollipop! :-P

          • MuddyB00ts

            LOL I am sooooooooooooooooo sorry! I put myself at the mercy of the droid-life court. :'(

          • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

            Off with his head!!!! lol

          • http://twitter.com/marcodecca marco decca

            I call dibs on his phone and shoelaces

          • Droidzilla

            Oh noes! What about Custom Theme Friday?!

            MuddyB00ts, you'd better make Kellex one of those sweet, steel stands so that he feels better!

          • MuddyB00ts

            if by steel, you mean cardboard and duct tape, I am all over it. Kellex, expect it in 8-46 weeks :)

    • Es

      “a certain fruit themed company” hahaha

  • Droidzilla

    Why anyone would look at a “security threat report” coming from a security app maker as anything other than ad copy is beyond me.

    • kellex

      Amen to that.

    • ircmaxell

      Because people will believe it. And because there's no such thing as actual reporting these days. Reporters (even professional ones) will just regurgitate what they are told rather than trying to research anything or (heaven forbid) even trying to portray both sides to the story…

      I had horrific experiences with the media when I was heading the security team for a major open source project. They would publish blatant lies that even 5 minutes worth of research would discredit. And hence the damage is done, and they get away scott-free because their bosses care more about page views than anything else (such as integrity, responsibility or even fairness).

      And the major media companies (who are just as guilty) wonder why they are bleeding money like a stuck pig…

      • Droidzilla

        A very true and sad portrayal of modern media. I think that the real problem, however, lies with the people themselves. It's the old, “Who watches the Watchmen?” Accuracy is no longer demanded by the people, thus it is no longer espoused by journalism. Ratings will always drive media (especially the television medium); if sensationalism brings more ratings than accuracy, all that means is that the people would rather be entertained than informed.

        OK, I'm ending my rant before I wax too political. Sorry for the tangent; go back to your Droids.

        • Racket

          Eventually people either find a trustworthy news source or stop paying attention. It is a situation that will take care of itself. “Find out why you child may die it their sleep tonight, our local forecast and more, tune into eyewitness news at 11″.

  • skltr21

    first!

  • Jay P

    first

  • Andrew Hewitt

    ???