You are currently viewing The Rise and Dangers of AI Artwork Apps

The Rise and Dangers of AI Artwork Apps

Authored by Fernando Ruiz

The recognition of AI-based cell functions that may create inventive pictures based mostly on footage, such because the “Magic Avatars” from Lensa, and the OpenAI service DALL-E 2 that generates them from textual content, have elevated the mainstream curiosity of those instruments. Customers ought to pay attention to these looking for to take benefit to distribute Potential Undesirable Applications (PUPs) or malware, reminiscent of by means of misleading functions that promise the identical or comparable superior options however are simply primary picture editors or in any other case repackaged apps that may drain your information plan and battery life with Clicker and HiddenAds behaviors, subscribe you to costly providers that present little or no worth over options  (Fleeceware), and even steal your social media account credentials (FaceStealer).

Dozens of apps floor every day claiming to supply AI picture creation. A few of them could be professional or based mostly on open-source tasks reminiscent of Steady Diffusion, however within the seek for a free software that produces high quality outcomes, customers would possibly attempt new apps that might compromise their privateness, person expertise, pockets and/or safety.

The McAfee Cellular Analysis Staff lately found a collection of repackaged picture editors on the Google Play app retailer which offered regarding behaviors.  McAfee Cellular Safety merchandise assist shield towards such apps, together with these labeled as Android/FakeApp, Android/FaceStealer, Android/PUP.Repacked and Android/PUP.GenericAdware.

McAfee, a member of the App Protection Alliance targeted on defending customers by stopping threats from reaching their gadgets and bettering app high quality throughout the ecosystem, reported the found apps to Google, which took immediate motion and the apps are now not accessible on Google Play.

We now focus on numerous sorts of privateness and/or safety dangers related to the sorts of apps lately faraway from the app retailer.


“Pista Cartoon Picture Effect” and “NewProfilePicture” are instances of apps that supplied compelling visible outcomes, nonetheless, every which is a widely known malware able to compromising a sufferer’s Fb or Instagram account. The apps  

“NewProfilePicture” and “Pista – Cartoon Picture Impact” are examples of FaceStealer malware that posed as a cartoon avatar creator.



Fleeceware refers to cell apps that use numerous techniques to enroll customers into subscriptions with excessive charges, usually after a free trial interval, and infrequently with little or no worth to the subscriber past cheaper or free options. If the person doesn’t take care to cancel their subscription, they proceed to be charged even after deleting the app.

“Toonify Me”, which is now not accessible on the Play Retailer, price $49.99 per week after 3 days – virtually $2,600 per 12 months – for what  

On this case, the “Toonify Me” app didn’t enable function entry with out enrolling within the subscription, and the “CONTINUE” button which initiated the subscription was the one choice to faucet within the app as soon as it was launched.


Promoted by advertisements that described it as able to reworking images into inventive drawings, the “ app is an instance of a repackaged model of a distinct, professional pixel portray app.  It lacked the marketed AI results and was plagued with adware-like conduct 

Commercial of “Enjoyable Coloring – Paint by Quantity” on social media which included app retailer hyperlink 

According to many reviews complaining about sudden adverts out of the context of the app, once put in, the app begined a service that talkd within the background with Facebook Graph API each 5 seconds and would possibly pull advertisements based mostly on acquired instructions after a while of execution. The app contained a number of injected SDK modules from AppsFlyer, Fyber, InMobi, IAB, Mintegral, PubNative and Smaato (none of that are within the authentic app, which was repackaged to embrace these), which might assist monetize installations with out regard for person expertise. 


When new sorts of apps develop into standard and new ones seem in the marketplace to supply comparable options, customers ought to act with warning to keep away from turning into sufferer to these wanting to use public curiosity.

When putting in an app that causes you doubt, be sure you:

  • Learn the pricing and different phrases fastidiously
  • Examine these permissions requested are affordable with the aim of the app
  • Search for persistently dangerous evaluations describing sudden or undesirable app conduct
  • Confirm if the developer has different apps accessible and their evaluations
  • Contemplate skipping the app obtain in the event you aren’t satisfied of its security

Even when an app is professional, we additionally encourage customers to look intently earlier than set up at any accessible privateness coverage to know how private information shall be handled.  Your face is a biometric identifier that’s not straightforward to alter, and a number of footage could be wanted (and saved) to create your mannequin.

Synthetic intelligence instruments will proceed to amaze us with their capabilities and doubtless will develop into extra accessible and safer to make use of over time.  For now, remember that AI know-how remains to be restricted and experimental, and could be costly to make use of – all the time think about any hidden prices.  AI additionally will convey extra challenges as we mentioned on the 2023 McAfee Risk Prediction weblog.


The next desk lists the appliance package deal identify, hash sum SHA256, the minimal variety of installations on Google Play, and the kind of detected risk. These apps have been faraway from Google Play, however some might stay accessible elsewhere.

Package deal Identify SHA256 Installs Sort
com.ayogamez.sketchcartoon 9cb1d996643fbec26bb9878939735221dfbf639075ceea3abdb94e0982c494c1 5M Adware
com.rocketboosterapps.toonifyme 3f45a38b103e1812146df8ce179182f54c4a0191e19560fcbd77240cbc39886b 10K Fleeceware
com.nhatanhstudio.cartoon.photoeffect 2c7f4fc403d1449b70218624d8a409497bf4694493c7f4c06cd8ccecff21799a 5K Repackaged Adware
com.cambe.PhotoCartoon 5327f415d0e9b21523f64403ec231e1fd0279c48b41f023160cd1d70dd733dbf 10K Repackaged Adware
com.chiroh.cartoon.prismaeffect 18fef9f92639e31dd6566854feb30e1e4333b971b05ae9aba93ac0aa395c955b 1K Repackaged Adware
3b941b7005572760b95239d73b8a8bbfdb81d26d405941171328daa8f3c01183 50 Repackaged Adware
com.waxwell.saunders.pistaphotoeditor 489d4aaec3bc694ddd124ab8b4f0b7621a51aad13598fd39cd5c3d2067b950e5 50 FaceStealer
com.ashtoon.tooncool.skordoi 980c090c01bef890ef74bd93e181d67a5c6cd1b091573eaaf2e1988756aacd50 100K FaceStealer
com.faceart.savetoon.cartoonedit 55ffc2e392280e8967de0857b02946094268588209963c6146dad01ae537daca 100 FaceStealer e696d7304e5f56d7125dd54c853ff35a394a4175fcaf7785d332404e161d6deb 500K FaceStealer
com.onlansuyanto.editor.bading 59f9630c2ebe4896f585ec7722c43bb54c926e3e915dcfa4ff807bea444dc07b 10K FaceStealer
com.madtoon.aicartoon.kiroah c29adfade300dde5e9c31b23d35a6792ed4a7ad8394d37b69b5cecc931a7ad9f 100K FaceStealer 24cf7fcaefe98bc9db34f551d11906d3f1349a5b60adf5fa37f15a872b61ee95 100K FaceStealer
com.funcolornext.beautyfungoodcolor b2cfa8b2eccecdcb06293512df0db463850704383f920e5782ee6c5347edc6f5 100K Repackaged



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