Last Updated: Apr 22,2016
Thank you for your response. I wish these weren't things people had to worry about with their phone.
Thanks. I've been thinking about getting this so hopefully I can avoid these crazy things.
Interesting article by android police:
The Mother Of All Android Malware Has Arrived: Stolen Apps Released To The Market That Root Your Phone, Steal Your Data, And Open Backdoor | Android News, Reviews, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets, Tips, Mods, Videos, Tutorials - Android Police
I'm going to update this guide with a few "what not to download" recommendations I think.
"beware apps that promise..."
-pictures of girls
-pictures of celebrities
-free music, especially single songs
-wallpaper apps that request internet permissions
If anyone has other suggestions let me know too. I'm going to take a look in the "just in" sections of the market and see if I can identify traits of the apps to watch out for.
If the app has the ability to root your phone, before you download it, should you not see those root permission that it requires?
Rooting is almost always accomplished via an exploit in the Linux kernel, some Linux library, the Dalvik VM, or some binary driver. The last one usually being the most likely target (AFAIK).
Only developer phones come "unlocked" so that you can root via just asking the phone to give you root.
This is why official OTA updates almost invariably break root for most roms/kernels/whatever. And also why the AOSP patches the exploits.
It is also why ROM devs really need good reputations for you to trust them. But 99% of them are great guys from what I have seen. (Though I think the community thinks they are superstars even though they are just recompiling other people's work most of the time, but that another subject for another day).
But ya, this looks to be the worst malware I have yet seen on Android.
Very informative. It really helped me out when I first came to Android.
In response to this and my own question earlier in the thread. I have since found this helpful post
Yep, this is a long know problem and some of it is working as intended, but other parts are bugs Google has only addressed partially.
You can see source code demonstrating this issue here:
That whole thread actually has some good info on the matter too.
Once i uninstall an app does that app still have access to my info?
Once you remove a burglar from your house does he still have access to your refrigerator? No, but he might have already drank up all your soda and ate your pizza.
Hi alostpacket! Just found your post today. Thanks for sharing these incredible Android tips and guidelines! You rock.
I just joined the Forums and was browsing about. This is exactly the type of info that I need. I printed it out for a couple of coworkers with droids who I know will never putz around the Forums.
Thank you from all of us newbie droid users.
Depends on the phone Ed, and if you're willing to root. Ask in the Android lounge though, this thread is about app security.
Made some major edits tonight.
- Several new sections
- Updated information about malware that was in the wild
- Permissions that you cant see
- Added image to show what version of Android an app targets
- Warez warnings
- Why devs use IMEI,
- how to be a good citizen/user in the Android Community
- A bunch more I'm likely forgetting
- Cleaned up a lot of old typos
- Probably made twice as many new typozzzz
Hi All... I'm new to Android (just switched from iPhone) and I came across this post while searching for 'official' ways to stay safe. Very useful post, and a big thanks to alostpockets and the rest who have contributed.
Ok, so off to my question:
After reading this post in its entirety, I went to check the apps on my Android 2.3.3 Nexus S and found that Evernote (a quite popular note-taking app) requires the "Your personal information: read sensitive log data" permission. This may be a dumb question, but is this the same permission as the one in the above quote? If not, then great... but if it is the same, why would Evernote need access to it?
Yes that's the same permission they just changed the display name of it.
I'll make a note to update that, thanks for the heads up.
Interesting article too on this point:
Pandora App Sends Private Data To Advertisers - Slashdot
Pandora was one of those apps that also used to read the logs before the users pressured them and news broke as to how dangerous the "read logs" permission is.
Very interesting... thanks again for your help.
And I would be willing to bet that pandora doesn't flag as malware with an "Antivirus" app.
updated 'read logs', and managed to nab a few typos/awkward sentences as well. Thanks again.
I was reading this discussion hopeing to locate a site that is dedicated to Apps that were flagged as Suspicious or had been rejected or "Pulled" fromthe Android Market.
Does such a site or online report exist? Anyone got a link?
None that I know of, the recent episode of a virus on Android was widely reported on tech blogs that listed those apps though.
You might also try some of the AV app writers sites. They tend to publish some information like that, esp for PC virus, not sure about Android.
If you find anything please feel free to post back -- it would be helpful info for this thread.
Lookout Mobile Security recently posted a list of reported malware that has been removed from the Android Market (but says some may still be there due to android markets still investigating some of these).....
This list was published in an article dated March 1/2011 (fairy recent)
Who is affected?
Anyone who has downloaded the apps listed above may be affected. If you have downloaded these apps, contact us at support-at-mylookout.com.
Full list of infected applications published by “Myournet”:
Super Guitar Solo
Super History Eraser
Super Ringtone Maker
Super Sex Positions
Hot Sexy Videos
Hilton Sex Sound
Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
Falling Ball Dodge
Advanced Currency Converter
Full list of infected applications published by “Kingmall2010″:
Advanced Barcode Scanner
Supre Bluetooth Transfer
Task Killer Pro
Sexy Girls: Japanese
Advanced File Manager
Magic Strobe Light
Advanced App to SD
Super Stopwatch & Timer
Advanced Compass Leveler
Best password safe
Full list of infected apps under the developer name “we20090202″:
Advanced Sound Manager
Magic Hypnotic Spiral
Color Blindness Test
Tie a Tie
Basketball Shot Now
Quick Delete Contacts
Omok Five in a Row
Super Sexy Ringtones
Thinking about this permission, I wonder why can't Google seperate them? One permission is Phone state, which I'll gladly give the developers. The other 'phone identity', which I do not prefer the developer to have
The sad thing is, most apps need to know the phone state to really work efficiently, so we really have no say and accept this permission if we want the app. I guess it's all about how much do you trust the developer right? *sigh* The funny thing is, that in the manifest.permission, Google explains phone_state but there's nothing on phone_identity, which I find very misleading.
At least the Permission description on the Market is more detailed now:
Roze, your profile pic makes me sooo hungry.
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