Check Point Research (CPR) has conducted a preliminary security analysis on Voila app, the popular app that turns a person into a cartoon avatar. Although there are no obvious red flags at this time, CPR has highlighted the potential risks to consider at a time when identity theft is on the rise. In South Africa, consumers have been warned to protect their personal information now more than ever after new statistics released by the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) show a sharp increase in identity fraud over the past year.
According to the SAFPS report on 2020 fraud statistics, impersonation fraud was up by a whopping 337% over 2019’s figures.
The risk could lie in that the fact that Voila app sends face pictures to its servers for processing. Face pictures, along with user identification details, could end up in malicious hands, in the event of a cyber-attack.
- Voila app sends face photos to its servers for processing
- The app includes specific and unique installation ID (vdid) generated by Google Play when it sends photos for verification
- Face photos are linked to specific user installation details. Where in the event of a cyber-attack, face photos and user details can potentially end up in malicious hands
Check Point Research (CPR) has run a preliminary security scan on Viola app, the increasingly popular app that turns a person into a cartoon avatar. Below are CPR’s initial notes at this time:
- The app has been written by a legitimate LLP company registeredin the United Kingdom (UK)
- In terms of permissions, the app utilizes only the bare minimum required for operation.
- The app verifies that the images contain face(s), and only after that verification, the app sends them to the server for processing
- All communication with the server are performed using HTTPS, so the traffic is encrypted out-of-the-box
- The app is using well known open source libraries, where possible
- When the photo is sent to the server, the app includes the specific and unique installation id (vdid) that was generated by Google Play, potentially linking faces to the specific installation
Quote: Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research at Check Point Software says