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

Release Date: 29 / 10 / 2014
Last Update: 29 / 10 / 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 October, we have downloaded 133 apps from Play Store, where 7 apps have been identified as high risk. 2 of them were removed from Play Store (on or before 24-Oct). 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: 133 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 67 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-October 2014
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 133 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 133 scanned apps, 7 apps were identified as security high risk. These 6 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Android.B.Gen, Android.Adware.SmsReg, Android.Adware.Kuguo, Android.Adware.Domob, Android.Dowgin, 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    (v2.3.9)

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.Domob

6/51 [Link]

Removed from play store

2 ) 优酷--看视频,只在优酷!    (v4.3)

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

Android.AdWare.Domob
Android.B.Gen

10/48 [Link]

Available on play store

3) Qvod快播看片神器    (v4.5)

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

Android.Dowgin

6/51 [Link]

Removed from play store

4) 風水羅盤實景——風水指南 家居住宅風水定財位 圓盤堪輿知識    (v3.1.8)

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

Android.AdWare.Domob

3/53 [Link]

Available on play store

5) My Talking Tom    (v1.9.3)

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

Android.AdWare.Domob

6/53 [Link]

Available on play store

6) 博雅鬥地主    (v5.5.1)

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

Android.Adware.SmsReg

2/47 [Link]

Available on play store

7) 三國戰神 火爆真三國遊戲    (v2.3.9)

Category: New Free Game
Installs: 50,000-250,000
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, read voice mail number, read phone number, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Android.Adware.Kuguo

2/47 [Link]

Available on play store

 

Remark (#): The status was checked on 24-Oct. 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.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.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.B.Gen

It is a high risk Ad plug-in, which downloads and shows advertisement on the notification bar, and tracks the status of network usage.

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.

Android.Adware.Kuguo

This is advertisement software bundled with the application. It can steal user's private information, such as phone number, email address, etc.

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