HKCert
Security Blog

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

Release Date: 29 / 07 / 2014
Last Update: 29 / 07 / 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 July, we have downloaded 127 apps from Play Store, where 6 apps have been identified as high risk. 1 of them was removed from Play Store (on or before 25-July). 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: 127 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 73 apps
  • Downloaded date: 7-July 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 127 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 127 scanned apps, 6 apps were identified as security high risk. These 6 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.Adware.AirPush, ApplicUnwnt, Android.Adware.Waps, Android.Adware.Domob, Android.Adware.LeadBolt, Android.Dowgin, Android.AdMogo, 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    (v2.3.4)

Category: Top Free App
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.

Android.Adware.Waps,
AdWare.AndroidOS.Domob

8/52 [Link]

Available on play store

2. 快播大全    (v7.7)

Category: Top Free App
Installs: 50,000-250,000
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.Dowgin,
ApplicUnwnt

13/52 [Link]

Removed from play store

3. 面相測算大師-桃花 財運 事業運分析明星面相大比拼    (v1.1.5)

Category: New Free App
Installs: 5,000-10,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Android. AdMogo,
Android.Adware.Waps

9/52 [Link]

Available on play store

4. No One Dies    (v1.1.0)

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM status, obtain device ID, obtain geo-location information, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Android.AdMogo

7/53 [Link]

Available on play store

5. Candy Frenzy    (v1.5.004)

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

Android.Adware.AirPush,
ApplicUnwnt

10/53 [Link]

Available on play store

6. Soccer Craft (Minecraft Mod)    (v1)

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

Android.Adware.LeadBolt,
Android.Adware.AirPush

10/53 [Link]

Available on play store

 
Remark (#): The status was checked on 25-July. 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

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.Dowgin

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which is bundled in the App. It can send advertisement on the notification bar, download unknown plug-in, download and install unknown application, send sensitive data to remote server, such as IMEI number, phone manufacturer, phone model, etc.

Android. AdMogo

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 collect and steal personal information, and send to a remote server.

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