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

Release Date: 25 / 06 / 2014
Last Update: 07 / 07 / 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 June, we have downloaded 131 apps from Play Store, where 7 apps have been identified as high risk. None of them was removed from Play Store (on or before 23-June). 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 27 Apps were returned in this query.)
  • Top 50 Free Games in Hong Kong area
  • Top 50 New Free Games in Hong Kong area  (Top 42 Apps were returned in this query.)

 

Scanned Apps

  • Successful downloaded and scanned: 131 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 38 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-June 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 131 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 131 scanned apps, 7 apps were identified as security high risk. These 7 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.Trojan.Generic, Android.Adware.AirPush, ApplicUnwnt, Android.Adware.Admogo, Android.Adware.Youmi, Android.Adware.Adwo, and Android.Adware.SmsReg.

 

List of security high risk apps

 

Application

High risk behavior signature / Ad plug-in

Malware detection ratio by VirusTotal

Status #

1. 金庸小說全集    (v1.7.6)

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

Android.Adware.AdMogo
Android.Adware.AirPush
Android.Trojan.Generic

9/52 [Link]

Available on play store

2. 百度手机助手 安卓市场 应用商店 免费安卓应用下载    (v5.4.1)

Category: New Free App
Installs: 10,000-50,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM status, enable WiFi automatically, enable Bluetooth automatically, enable camera automatically, connect to the Internet, call camera application, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic

3/51 [Link]

Available on play store

3. 폰테마샵 시즌3 (카카오톡/배경화면/런처/벨소리/락커)    (v1.3)

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

Android.Trojan.Generic

4/54 [Link]

Available on play store

4. No One Dies    (v1.0.7)

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

Android.Adware.Youmi
Android.Adware.Adwo
Android.Adware.AirPush
ApplicUnwnt

18/52 [Link]

Available on play store

5. Hardest Game Ever 2    (v15)

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

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.SmsReg

18/54 [Link]

 

Available on play store

6. 大球星    (v1.0.6)

Category: New Free Game
Installs: 1,000-5,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, read phone number, read address book, enable camera automatically, enable media recorder, connect to the Internet, call camera application, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.SmsReg

8/54 [Link]

 

Available on play store

7. Real Football 2014 Brazil FREE    (v1.3)

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

Android.Adware.AirPush
Android.Trojan.Generic

8/53 [Link]

Available on play store

 
Remark (#): The status was checked on 23-June. 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

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.Admogo

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.Youmi

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.Adwo

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which can steal user's private information, including phone number, call history, and consume user's mobile data.

Android.Adware.SmsReg

It is a high risk app. When the app is running, it can receive user's SMS and send SMS in the background. It can cause user information disclosure  and pay additional charge.

 

3. High risk app analysis

 
Please refer to "Appendix 2" [download]
 
 
 
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