Should You Trust Every App You Install On Your Phone?

Nope — some of them are plundering your personal information and beaming it to potential bad guys. (Do hackers ever sleep?)

Two researchers revealed that they’d researched one seemingly benign wallpaper app and found that it was sending phone numbers and subscriber information (like names and addresses) to a remote computer.

The app in question came from Jackey Wallpaper, and it was uploaded to the Android Market, where users can download it and use it to decorate their phones that run the Google Android operating system.

It includes branded wallpapers from My Little Pony to Star Wars.

Essentially, these apps collect your phone number, subscriber identification, and even your voicemail phone number as long as they are programmed automatically into your phone. It sends the data to a website, That site is evidently owned by someone in Shenzhen, China. The app has been downloaded anywhere from 1.1 million to 4.6 million times.

“Apps that seem good, but are really stealing your personal information are a big risk at a time when mobile apps are exploding on smart phones,” said John Hering, chief executive, and Kevin MaHaffey, chief technology offi cer at Lookout, in their talk at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. “Even good apps can be modifi ed to turn bad after a lot of people download it.”