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Moreover, if a user creates a profile for the service, information such as nickname, gender, city of residence, birthday, and self-introduction provided on the application screen are sent with the other numbers.
A user is not required to input real information, if a user adds more detailed personal or attribute data–such as hobby and preferences while chatting–this information might be stored on the developer’s site, associated with the phone number. Figure 2: The application screens of the two suspicious chat apps.
Figure 1: Two Japanese chat apps steal a device’s phone number.
The apps, Chatline and Connect Line, give users the impression that the apps are related to Line, a popular messaging app in Japan, though they actually have no relationship at all.
The apps retrieve a device’s phone number, International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) serial numbers, and send them to a remote web server.