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Hong Kong Google Play Store's Apps Security Risk Report (December 2015)

Release Date: 28 / 12 / 2015
Last Update: 28 / 12 / 2015

 

Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team (HKCERT) Coordination Centre cooperates with the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team of China (CNCERT) 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. CNCERT provides us analyzed result, and we collate the detection result and publish security alerts to the public.

 

In the report of December, we have downloaded 195 apps from Play Store, where 6 apps have been identified as high risk. None of them were removed from Play Store (on or before 22-Dec). 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: 195 apps
  • Unable to download via the system: 5 apps
  • Downloaded date: 5-December 2015
  • List of the downloaded apps: "Appendix 1" [download]

 

Analysis Overview

 

In this analysis, 195 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 195 scanned apps, 6 apps were identified as security high risk. These 6 Apps were identified with the following high risk behavior signatures Trojan.Android.Rootnik.dzbmfp, AndroidOS/Igexin.A, Trojan.Android.Agent.domnnt, ADWARE/ANDR.Airpush.O.Gen, AndroidOS/GenPua.5588F45F!Olympus, Android.SmsSpy.16.origin, etc.

 

List of security high risk apps

 

Application

High risk behavior signature / Ad plug-in

Malware detection ratio by VirusTotal

Status #

1) SelfieCity    (v1.4.9.1)

Category: Top Free App
Installs: 500,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, and connect to the Internet.

Trojan.Android.Rootnik.dzbmfp

2 / 54 [Link]

Available on play store

2) 萌幻修仙    (v5.5)

Category: Top Free App, New Free App, Top Free Game, New Free Game
Installs: 100,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, obtain device information, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

AndroidOS/Igexin.A

5 / 54 [Link]

Available on play store

3) 591房屋交易(香港) 租屋、買樓、放盤就係快!簡單易用!    (v1.8.2)

Category: New Free App
Installs: 1,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain geo-location information, obtain device information, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Trojan.Android.Agent.domnnt

4 / 54 [Link]

Available on play store

4) Sea Hunter    (v1)

Category: New Free App, Top Free Game, New Free Game
Installs: 50,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, obtain geo-location information, obtain device information, and send out phone information.

ADWARE/ANDR.Airpush.O.Gen

8 / 55 [Link]

Available on play store

5) Running Ball    (v1)

Category: New Free App, New Free Game
Installs: 10,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM serial number, obtain device ID, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, obtain device information, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

AndroidOS/GenPua.5588F45F!Olympus

6 / 54 [Link]

Available on play store

6) 億次元    (v1.0.6)

Category: Top Free App, Top Free Game
Installs: 100,000+
High risk behavior description:
obtain SIM operator name, obtain SIM serial number, obtain SIM status, obtain geo-location information, obtain WiFi configuration, connect to the Internet, and send out phone information.

Android.SmsSpy.16.origin

1 / 54 [Link]

Available on play store

 
Remark (#): The status was checked on 22-Dec. 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

Trojan.Android.Rootnik.dzbmfp

It is a high risk app. When the app is running, it can obtain device information and user's sensitive data.

AndroidOS/Igexin.A

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.

Trojan.Android.Agent.domnnt

It is a high risk application, when it is running, it can steal user information, such as device information, geo-location, etc. at the background.

ADWARE/ANDR.Airpush.O.Gen

This is an advertisement application. 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

AndroidOS/GenPua.5588F45F!Olympus

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.SmsSpy.16.origin

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]