In this Advertisement, it claims that it can scan human body like X-ray scanning machine. But obviously, this app doesn’t have any such functionality. We can guess that many users are tricked into downloading this App and they end up with annoying advertisements. During our analysis, we found around 5 applications with similar functionalities.
Analysis of HiddAd malware Apps:
HiddAd malware App hides its icon after installation and its first launch. It creates shortcut on Home Screen. We analyzed one of these HiddAd malware App in detail. It directly uses setComponentEnabledSetting method to hide its own icon, without any obfuscation. This is little different from most of the HiddAd malware which we analyzed earlier and they were using some obfuscation techniques to evade detections.
This HiddAd App has following code to decide when to show Ads. The function name itself tells its purpose. The following code snippet clearly shows that App installation time is saved in one variable and then depending on that value, it decides the exact time to show Ads.
In one of these Apps, named “First camera HD”, malware author has used a different technique. In this apk, there is an encrypted file present in its “assets” directory. This file gets decrypted at runtime and it creates odex file (Optimized dex file) in “data\data\com.first.app.
Later it deletes this created odex file runtime. We analyzed this file by fetching it from our emulator and found that it has similar code. Below code snippet shows how it decrypts and create odex file –
Quick Heal Total Security for Mobile detects these applications as Android.Hiddad.A
Analysis of Adware Apps:
These Apps pretend to offer a functionality of magnifying the view, but in reality these Apps just show heavy Advertisement on user’s mobile, eventually draining phone battery and causing heavy data usage and productivity loss.
Right after the launch, these applications open camera and show various options like flash-light, gallery, etc. But when user chooses an option, these apps start full-screen Ads, with no option to close or skip. Initially there is no way to close these Ads and it takes considerable time to show Close Ad button. These Ads are continuous and annoying. Even if user gets a chance to close one Ad, it will again open another Ad immediately and won’t allow to use the real application functionalities.
- Check an app’s description before you download it.
- Check the app developer’s name and their website. If the name sounds strange or odd, you have all the reasons to suspect it.
- Go through the reviews and ratings of the app. But, note that these can also be faked.
- Avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores.
- Always keep ‘Unknown Sources’ disabled. Enabling this option allows installation of apps from unknown sources.
- Most importantly, verify app permissions before installing any app even from official stores such as Google Play.
- Use a reliable mobile antivirus (like Quick Heal Total Security), that can prevent fake, malicious apps, adware, etc. from getting installed on your phone.
- Limit yourself to known apps from known developers and keep only those apps on mobile that are really needed.