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

Release Date: 25 / 09 / 2014
Last Update: 30 / 09 / 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 September, we have downloaded 146 apps from Play Store, where 6 apps have been identified as high risk. None of them was removed from Play Store (on or before 23-Sep). 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: 146 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 54 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-September 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 146 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 146 scanned apps, 6 apps were identified as security high risk. These 6 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.Trojan.Generic, Android.Adware.Domob, Android.Adware.Waps, Adware.Android.Startapp, Android.Adware.SmsSpy, Android.Adware.Leadbolt, Android.Adware.Igexin, 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    (v2.3.8)

Category: Top Free App
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, obtain geo-location information, read phone number, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Waps
Android.Adware.Domob

5/50 [Link]

Available on play store

2) 千寻影视HD    (v1.2.5)

Category: Top Free App
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, obtain geo-location information, read phone number, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Waps
Android.Adware.Domob

7/54 [Link]

Removed from play store

3) Normal Adventure    (v1.0.2)

Category: Top Free Game, New Free Game
Installs: 50,000-250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, obtain geo-location information, read phone number, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Android.Trojan.Generic
Android.Adware.Domob

5/49 [Link]

Available on play store

4) Crazy Bartender    (v1.1)

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain device ID, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, connect to the Internet, call camera application, make phone call, and send out phone information.

Adware.Android.Startapp

6/50 [Link]

Available on play store

5) 博雅鬥地主    (v5.4)

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM status, obtain device ID, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, read phone number, enable camera automatically, connect to the Internet, and make phone call.

Android.Adware.Igexin
Android.Trojan.SmsSpy

5/50 [Link]

Available on play store

6) Dinosaur Simulator    (v1.2)

Category: Top Free Game
Installs: >250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain device ID, obtain geo-location information, enable camera automatically, and connect to the Internet.

Android.Adware.Leadbolt

5/63 [Link]

Available on play store

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

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.Waps

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

Adware.Android.Startapp

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

Android.Trojan.SmsSpy

It is a high risk plug-in. 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.

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.Igexin

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]