A profile picture app that promises a free Avatar in return for download is in news for all the wrong reasons. The app seems to be connected to Russian intelligence and seems to send all the pictures uploaded onto it to servers operating in Moscow.
An alert issued by security researchers from ESET state that the ‘The NewProfilePic’ App was developed by a company named Linerock Investments that is in an apartment beside Moscow Rive, and has links to the Russian Ministry of Defense, just 2 miles away from Red Square.
Some may get doubt it, what if the company is located close to Russian defense headquarters?
The criterion is not with the location of the company, but its links with the Kremlin intelligence. And the most concerning part is that this app asks for names, email addresses, user names on social media platforms, and contact details.
Sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders state that the company is sending all the uploaded content that will be used for a project related to Artificial Intelligence termed facial recognition.
What if the high-resolution images uploaded to the website are used for any malicious purposes, such as the opening of bank accounts in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Panama where most of such accounts are used for money laundering purposes.
Usually, such companies sell data to criminals who then launch phishing and identity theft attacks and there are ‘N’ number of instances to prove this point. CONTI, Darkside, and other such cybercriminal gangs operate in such a way.