New profile pic app: Facebook users warned over scam

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Experts believe the Facebook app is sending data to Russia, with the company behind it based in an apartment complex overlooking the Moskva River

Facebook users are being warned about a New Profile Pic app some experts believe is sending data to Russia.

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The app uses face recognition technology that allows users to change the uploaded image and create a new image to share on social media.

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Hundreds of thousands of people have updated their profile pictures through the new app in the latest online trend, but many are unaware that their information, including photos, will be sent to a Moscow-registered company.

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What is the New Profile Picture app?

New Profile Pic app (aka NewProfilePic Picture Editor) uses artificial intelligence to convert profile pics into atwork, find key points on a picture of your face and create a new version.

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The app, which already has tens of thousands of users, can be downloaded to mobile devices and allows you to send data, including your location, and access other social media images in your feeds.

Some experts believe the app sends people’s photos and data directly to the Kremlin, since Linerock Investments, the company behind it, is based next to Russia’s Defense Ministry three miles outside of Red Square, they said Email online.

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The company’s data policy states: “We collect certain personal data that you voluntarily provide to us.

“We collect your name, email address, username, social media information and other information you provide upon registration.”

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The app is #1 for photos in the Apple App Store and has been rated 25,000 times on Google Play.

Is the New Profile Pic App a scam?

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In the United States Apple App Store, the app is called NewProfilePic Picture Editor and was developed by Informe Laboratories, Inc.

However, it appears that the app’s website is registered with Linerock Investments, which is based alongside the Russian Defense Ministry, which is a concern for cybersecurity experts.

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Although it’s unclear if the app and website are even connected, Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security, told Mail Online that users need to be careful when uploading photos or personal information to a new website.

Users on Twitter share experts’ fears of a Russia-based scam, with one person calling the New Profile Pic app a “phishing scam”.

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The user said: “If you have it on your phone, delete it if you’ve given it full permissions, change your passwords, warn your bank, there has been a huge spike in bank accounts being emptied and people out of their accounts were excluded.

A second user said: “The NewProfilePic app is Russian-owned and likely contains ransomware.”

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Meanwhile, Cyber ​​HelpLine, which bills itself as “expert advice for victims of cybercrime and online safety issues in the UK,” said the site’s overall trust score is just 14%.

What was said about the app’s links to Russia?

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Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security, told Mail Online that he “would question any app that wants that amount of data, especially one that is largely unknown and based in another country”.

He added, “This app is probably a way to capture people’s faces in high definition.”

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A spokesperson for the new app told Mail Online, “We’re a BVI company with development offices in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus,” and said they don’t share user information in ways that aren’t listed in their privacy policy.

They said images are sent to Amazon servers to apply the effects, are not visible to anyone and are deleted after two weeks.

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How to protect yourself

Although it is not certain whether the new profile picture is a scam or not, you should always be careful with new apps.

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Be sure to read a service’s privacy policy before downloading, as you may unknowingly consent to the sharing of personal information.

Also, make sure your device is protected with a strong password, biometrics, or two-factor authentication.

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