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

Release Date: 27 / 03 / 2014
Last Update: 28 / 03 / 2014

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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 March, we have downloaded 168 apps from Play Store, where 10 apps have been identified as high risk. 1 of them was removed from Play Store (on or before 27-March). 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: 168 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 32 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-March 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 168 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 168 scanned apps, 10 apps were identified as security high risk. These 10 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.Trojan.Generic, Android.Adware.AirPush.A, ApplicUnwnt, Android.Adware.Waps, Android.Adware.Domob, Android.Adware.LeadBolt, Android.Adware.RevMob, Android/AdLoad.B.Gen, etc.

 

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HD  v1.2.1

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

AndroidOS.Domob
Android.Adware.Waps

8/50 [Link]

Available on play store

2. PPS影(HD版)  v1.6.1

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.A

10/51 [Link]

Available on play store

3. PPTV网络电视(手机版)  v3.6.0

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

Android/AdLoad.B.Gen

9/46 [Link]

Available on play store

4. 手机电视直  v4.2

Category: New Free Application
Installs: 1,000-5,000
High risk behavior description:
Obtain SIM operator name, and connect to the Internet.

Android.Adware.Waps

10/50 [Link]

Available on play store

5. 手机电视直播高清  v2.8

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

Android.Adware.Waps

10/50 [Link]

Available on play store

6. My Talking Tom  v1.4.1

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

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.Domob

10/50 [Link]

Available on play store

7. Steve´s World  v1.0.3

Category: New Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
Obtain SIM status, read phone number, enable Bluetooth automatically, enable camera automatically, enable media recorder, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

ApplicUnwnt
AndroidOS.AdWare.LeadBolt

11/49 [Link]

Available on play store

8. Silly Bird  v1.0.5

Category: New Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
Obtain SIM status, read phone number, enable Bluetooth automatically, enable camera automatically, enable media recorder, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.LeadBolt

12/51 [Link]

Removed from play store

9. Burger Worlds  v1.0.2

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

ApplicUnwnt
Android.Adware.Airpush

11/51 [Link]

Available on play store

10. 藍月  v21

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

Android.Adware.RevMob

2/45 [Link]

Available on play store

Remark (#): The status was checked on 27-March. 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.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.Trojan.Generic.A

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.

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.Waps

This is an advertisement Trojan, which can popup an advertisement after it runs, modify the interface of startup page and search page in browser, change the default search setting to a new search engine website.

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.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.RevMob

It is an Ad plug-in bind with an application, which can steal user's private information, including phone number and call history. It consumes user’s data usage.

Android/AdLoad.B.Gen

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which can download and display an advertisement on the notification bar when it is running. It can track the data usage of the phone.

 
3. High risk app analysis
 
Please refer to "Appendix 2" [download]
 
 
 
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