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APP HACK ATTACK: Experts issue warning over Russian-linked New Profile Pic app

A VIRAL app that lets social media users upload pictures and turn them into seaside resort cartoons has been exposed as being linked to Russia. 

Linerock investments, the firm behind the New Profile Pic app is a company located in an apartment building right next to the Russian Defence Ministry overlooking the Moscow River. 

New Profile Pic has been installed more than one million times and has seen reviews of around 30,000 users. 

The app was registered in Russia and is linked to a company called Linerock Investments, but experts warn that the developers are able to see personal data, including Google Pay and Apple Pay and are able to access local networks, social media accounts and gain dozens of permissions on users smartphones, even when phones are locked.

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One Facebook user sent a warning to other users: “When you download the app you give the developer full access to your phone and everything on it.” 

“You’re even giving them permission to access & operate your phone when the screen is locked and the phone is asleep.” 

 Jake Moore, a tech expert told DailyMail: “this app is likely a way of capturing people’s faces in high resolution and I would question any app wanting this amount of data, especially one which is largely unheard of and based in another country”.

The Independent reported that “Users in the tens of thousands have uploaded images to the app to acquire profile pictures.” 

A spokesperson from the App said: “We did not and do not plan to have any affiliation with any governmental organisations of any country,” she added.

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“All user photos are hosted and processed on the Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure servers, which are located outside the Russian Federation,” she added.

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