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HTC Stocks can't be killed and has insane permissions (spyware?)

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by cypherpunks, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. cypherpunks

    cypherpunks New Member
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    Has anyone else noticed that the HTC Stocks application cannot be killed by ATK and yet has permissions to access everything on the phone? Just to list a few: Phone number+identity, fine grained location, email, web history, placing phone calls, reading and editing SMS messages, and even TAKING PICTURES and RECORDING AUDIO? Why does a simple Stocks app need access to so much?

    And even more concerning, why is it impossible to kill? Even placing it on autokill with ATK causes it to launch right back up immediately.

    To add insult to injury, the damn thing even warns me when I open it that it will drain my battery due to excessive data transmission, yet I cannot kill it!

    How do I get rid of this battery-draining data-blasting spyware?
     

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  2. Thefoodman52

    Thefoodman52 Well-Known Member
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    First off... if you're using a task killer, shame on you. Notice the app re-starting? That's what every single app will do when you 'kill' it. Go to the stocks app through the settings menu, and force stop it there. It won't run again at all until you reboot then.

    TL;DR
    Menu>Settings>Applications>Manage Applications>Stocks>Force Stop.
     
  3. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    Have you looked at the permissions for HTC Sense? Or any of the bundled apps?

    Take a look at the facebook app that comes with HTC and the permissions for that. Or Flickr. Or Footprints.

    They all are the same. I find any of them running in the background all the time, even though I have never used them. I presume it's because they are all integrated with the Sense UI.


    Incorrect. I just did exactly this, and 2 minutes later Stocks is again listed in running apps.
     
  4. rkkeller

    rkkeller Well-Known Member
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    The Dog Pound.
    What phone are we talking about as I have the EVO and don't see the stocks app running.

    When I open the app and press the menu there is a settings screen. You can uncheck update when open and turn off the update schedule.

    When you restart you phone all kinds of things will show as running but many are just there not actually doing anything. Seems the way the Android OS works.
     
  5. myAndroid

    myAndroid Member
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    Are you rooted? If so, download SystemApp Remover from the Market. the "Stocks" app will be under System Apps. That should allow you to remove it.
     
  6. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    HTC Desire, for me. I do not have it set to update and haven't used it. (I removed the update option from the "accounts and sync" settings I believe.)

    It still shows as running on any task manager.

    Yeah, of course it isn't doing anything. However, it appears the OP was concerned that it IS actually doing something, like collecting data, in the background.
     
  7. rkkeller

    rkkeller Well-Known Member
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    The Dog Pound.

    Are you on OS 2.2 not sure if that matters or not? I see all kinds of things running on my EVO that I never use or started myself but dont see the stocks running.
     
  8. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    Yes, froyo 2.2.
     
  9. lifeonmtv

    lifeonmtv Well-Known Member
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    root and delete, solved
     
  10. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    I know it isn't really your fault. I know you are trying to be helpful. However, your offhand comment like this implies it is all "so easy" and the answer is simple and obvious.


    There are legitimate reasons why many people do not want to root their phones. Rooting the phone isn't the final answer for everyone.

    There are plenty of good reasons to root phones too. Doing it just to get rid of a pre-installed app that does NOTHING doesn't seem like a very good reason to me though.
     
  11. faz1964

    faz1964 Well-Known Member
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    How do you delete it?

    I've tried using SystemApp Remover, but all I get is file couldn't be removed try again.

    Thanks
     
  12. lifeonmtv

    lifeonmtv Well-Known Member
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    As far as I know it is the only way to remove it. Root and delete with that app, or through adb, or remove the files from the zip before flashing. Didn't mean to sound rude.

    I just removed it hmmm what Rom are you using? That probably makes a difference. I use one based on leeDroid and system app remover worked, did you grant the app root rights??
     
  13. faz1964

    faz1964 Well-Known Member
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    The rom is

    [ROM] [15/11] Pre-rooted Stock Froyo (2.10.405.2) [Optional mods]

    from from Teppic74 at XDA developers.

    Yes root rights were granted.

    What app did you use to remove the apps?
     
  14. lifeonmtv

    lifeonmtv Well-Known Member
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    system app remover from the market

    i remember i deleted more than one thing to do with stocks tho, like there's a a couple of things you need to deleted. From memory, I think it was something along the lines of stocks.apk, stockswidget.apk and possibly something else. Maybe the order in which you delete them matters?

    hm maybe try force closing stocks before trying to uninstall it? although i don't really remember having any problems, might be something to do with the rom but i have no way of telling for sure.

    can you uninstall other system apps? like the setup wizard (just an example).

    just in case, REMOVING SYSTEM APPS IS VERY RISKY so do so at your own risk.

    please note,
    it is, however, the only answer to the question i know of, root and remove from system. Rooting is not the answer for everything, and it's obviously not a suitable alternative for every user.

    edit: i found where i looked for info on which ones were 'safe' to delete in leedroid, http://leedroid.protogenlabs.com/wiki/guidelines-for-safe-removal-of-included-apps-apks
     
  15. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your reply. I agree with what you said, and I can see you certainly understand the risk of rooting. I just thought your earlier post was too short and simple, and made it sound like rooting is no big deal.

    There is time and some risk involved. IMO, having a few system apps that are running (but not doing anything) is the "no big deal" in the equation for me.


    If anything, I'd want to delete the Flickr app first. According to OS Monitor, I have 2-3 instances of something to do with Flickr running, using 20 MB or so of memory each, immediately after rebooting my phone. I don't even have a Flickr account.

    Stocks shows up as a running process but doesn't seem to actually do anything.
     
  16. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member
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    Stocks is part of Sense. It's bundled in with the whole framework, integrated into HTC's customization of Android. Of course it has all kinds of permissions--I'm pretty sure all the HTC apps do. There's no cause for alarm.

    Also, stop using task killers. That's the real battery drain, not Stocks.
     
  17. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member
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    Read the guides on permissions. You can't assume that you know what a permission is needed for simply by looking at the name of the permission. It's not always that straightforward. Refer to any of the guides out there. If you need assistance, ask. IIRC there's one on this very site.

    Which is definitely going to kill your battery. Leaving in the background it will consume far less.

    It sounds like you have a lot of reading to do. The auto task killer is a bad idea. It's your homework to determine why as the topic is way beyond being a well-beaten dead horse.
     
  18. cypherpunks

    cypherpunks New Member
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    I might not be able to assume a lot about what the stocks app is doing, but I can assume a lot about what happens if that app gets compromised by an exploit, even if it is not spyware. It's pretty obvious to me it has a dangerous set of permissions.

    More over, it is the only app with this permissions set that won't *stay dead* when killed, either through a task killer, or through the official android services list, or through the android "Running Applications" list. All of the others that people have complained about here (Flickr, facebook, etc) all die gracefully for me without the need to keep killing them.

    I have the task killer set to only kill the apps when the screen goes off. Why should this consume any battery? It should just run once and that's it.

    If not, that sounds like a bug in my task killer. Has anyone reported this to the author of ATK?

    It sounds like HTC has a bit of usability work to do if people keep complaining about their apps being potentially insecure and spyware but nothing ever gets done.
     
  19. lifeonmtv

    lifeonmtv Well-Known Member
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    why do u wanna kill background apps that are just taking up ram? it's cpu usage that you need to worry about as this is what has a direct impact on battery. android is different from windows.

    ditch ATK for a week and don't force close any background apps, you'll probably be able to tell the difference, the reason they 'restart' straight away is because android will attempt to fill up any unused ram, it's actually a feature not a problem.

    how long have u had the phone for?
     
  20. cypherpunks

    cypherpunks New Member
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    Incidentally, I just wanted to clarify that I HAVE read the task killer guide, and it clearly was written for people who don't understand Android:
    Droid Den - Android Guide: Should I Use a Task Killer - Droid Den

    I *do* understand that I want to keep most of my apps open, and not always kill them so that the next launch uses less CPU and resources. However, for apps I *never* use that are *only* vectors for spyware or exploitation, and that give FULL access to my phone if they are exploited, I see no reason to keep them alive.

    If there is a reason why my task killer drains my battery, it's because this damn Stocks app won't actually STAY DEAD like everything else I just have to kill once and never use.
     
  21. lifeonmtv

    lifeonmtv Well-Known Member
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    oh well... i guess it sucks for you

    :(

    but yeah, if you wanna remove it i already gave you the answer on how to do it, if you don't think you should 'have' to go through an effort to remove it i definitely agree, but unfortunately it is the way it is. You bought a phone off htc, they put shit in it, now you know.
     
  22. cypherpunks

    cypherpunks New Member
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    Yeah. I plan to root it and/or install an open source rebuild like cyanogenmod once it is updated to support the newer HTC revs (I think 6.1 should do it).

    It's just annoying that until I do that I have no way of getting rid of this HTC garbage. I'm almost certain that this Stocks app is a one-off piece of junk they wrote for Yahoo that they won't ever update and that probably has a built in Webkit or similar HTML rendering web widget that will just accumulate unpatched exploits until the end of time :/

    *sigh* At least I didn't buy a Droid X. Those can't even be rooted. Those people are really screwed if they end up in this boat.
     
  23. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. Nobody posted any of this info earlier in the thread, so there was no reason for you to bother reading it.
     

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