HKCert
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Hong Kong Google Play Store's Apps Security Risk Report (February 2014)

Release Date: 27 / 02 / 2014
Last Update: 27 / 02 / 2014

 

Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team (HKCERT) Coordination Centre cooperates with the National Institute of Network and Information Security (NINIS) for detecting malicious and suspicious behaviors of Apps from the Google Play Store, in order to study the security risk of apps in the Google Play Store in Hong Kong area. NINIS provides us analyzed result, and we collate the detection result and publish security alerts to the public.

 

In the report of February, we have downloaded 161 apps from Play Store, where 13 apps have been identified as high risk. 2 of them were removed from Play Store (on or before 26-February). The detail of report is shown as follow.

 

Target scope

  • Top 50 Free Applications in Hong Kong area
  • Top 50 New Free Applications in Hong Kong area
  • Top 50 Free Games in Hong Kong area
  • Top 50 New Free Games in Hong Kong area

 

Scanned Apps

  • Successful downloaded and scanned: 161 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 39 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-February 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 161 apps were scanned for bad behaviors. Based on the level of security threat, the apps were divided into 2 categories: apps with malicious and apps with suspicious behaviors. Malicious behavior refers to apps having malicious purpose explicitly, which could cause direct harm to systems and users' interests. Suspicious behavior refers to apps having behavior, which could cause direct harm to systems and users' interests, but no malicious behavior can be explicitly identified.

 

1. Scanning Result

 

Among the 161 scanned apps, 13 apps were identified as security high risk. These 13 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.Trojan.Generic, Android.Adware.AirPush, Android.Adware.Dowgin, Android.Adware.LeadBolt, Android.Adware.Domob, android.AdWare.KyView, and ApplicUnwnt.

 

List of security high risk apps

 

Application

High risk behavior signature / Ad plug-in

Malware detection ratio by VirusTotal

Status #

1. 千寻影视  v2.2.2

Category: Top Free Application
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Domob
Android.Trojan.Generic

7/47 [link]

Available on play store

2. 千寻影视HD  v1.2.0

Category: Top Free Application
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, enable Bluetooth automatically, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Domob
Android.Trojan.Generic

7/48 [link]

Available on play store

3. PPS 影音(手機版)  v2.4.5

Category: Top Free Application
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.LeadBolt
Android.Adware.AirPush

8/45 [link]

Available on play store

4. 酷狗音乐播放器  v6.2.1

Category: Top Free Application
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM status, read phone number, enable WiFi automatically, connect to the Internet, call camera application, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.AdWare.KyView

8/44 [link]

Available on play store

5. Happy Horse New Year Free LWP  v1.0.1

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 10,000-50,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, read phone number, enable camera automatically, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.AirPush
ApplicUnwnt

7/50 [link]

Available on play store

6. My Little Gourmet-BabyBus  v4.23

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 50,000-250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.KyView

11/47 [link]

Available on play store

7. New Year Frame  v10.2

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 1,000-5,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.AirPush
Android.Trojan.Generic

10/50 [link]

Available on play store

8. Chinese New Year Camera  v1

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 1,000-5,000
High risk behavior description:
read phone number, connect to the Internet, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.KyView
Android.Trojan.Generic

10/47 [link]

Available on play store

9. HD Video Player  v2

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 10,000-50,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Adwo
Android.Adware.Dowgin

13/48 [link]

Available on play store

10. 陪睡夜勤病栋七濑恋-特别篇  v1

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: 50,000-250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, enable camera automatically, connect to the Internet, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.Domob

16/50 [link]

Removed from play store

11. My Talking Tom  v1.3.1

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.Dowgin

9/48 [link]

Available on play store

12. Candy Star  v1.0.6

Category: New Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM status, read phone number, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.AirPush
Android.Adware.LeadBolt

11/49 [link]

Available on play store

13. Stickman: Prison Break  v1.4.3

Category: New Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.Dowgin

9/50 [link]

Removed from play store

Remark (#): The status was checked on 26-February. There is no direct relation between the on-shelf status and this report.
 

2. High risk behavior signature and Ad plug-in

 

High risk behavior signature and Ad plug-in

High risk behavior

Android.Trojan.Generic

This is a malicious backdoor Trojan, which runs in the background. It allows remote access to the infected system. It will collect and steal sensitive information, such as Internet activities, account/password setting, geo-location, and IMEI, etc.

Android.Adware.Dowgin

It is an Ad plug-in bundled with App, which can steal user's private information, such as phone number and email address.

ApplicUnwnt

This high risk app is a Trojan, liked Android.Trojan.Generic. It can collect and steal user's private information at the background.

Android.Adware.AirPush

This is an advertisement framework. It can aggressively push ad to device's notification bar. It can modify browser's bookmark, and remove icon on the main screen. The ads will ask for money. Some ads showed in the notification bar will lure user to subscribe and pay for SMS service. Three common luring ads are 1) fake shop, 2) fake free call service, 3) system notification impersonation

Android.Adware.LeadBolt

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which can steal user's private information, including phone number, call history, geo-location, etc.

Android.Adware.Domob

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which can steal user's private information, including phone number, call history, geo-location, etc.

Android.AdWare.KyView

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which can steal user's private information, including phone number, call history, geo-location, etc.

 

3. High risk app analysis

 
Please refer to "Appendix 2" [download]