Sunday, November 22, 2015

Arbour №65: «dark side» Android-Application – Mobile-review

With the development of smart phones literally “smarter” and programs. However, this trend is not necessarily favorable for the user, especially when it comes to “shadow” the application.


A recent study of the behavior of Android-application points to a staggering amount of background Internet traffic, which in no way improves system performance and a serious drain on the battery. Researchers at MIT and Global InfoTek conducted a thorough analysis of the top application of directory Google Play and found that most of the compounds in no way linked to interact directly with the application.

The result of research was the conclusion that 62.7% of the compounds made by by the popular Android-applications included in the top 20 apps on Google Play (not including messengers), it can be classified as implicit (with tacit background activity does not affect the operation of the program). Blocking connections to online resources within these applications will not cause a visible or measurable changes in the behavior of the program.


In some cases, the implicit behavior associated with renowned libraries A & amp; A (Analytics and Advertising, Analytics and marketing), but they are only 43% of cases. The remaining connections are divided into different areas. The report says:

Twitter uses a hidden connection to gather information about video and other media investments, celebrated the users in a tweet. GO Keyboard app via hidden connection sends a set of identifiers to the server, and not amenable to decipher the information on the Pandora and Spotify use social services metric Facebook, sending information about using the application. As another example, the application uses a certain Walmart library of Red Laser (company specializing in the comparison of prices) to work with scanned bar codes. This library allows you to send information about the scanned code to the server However, blocking outgoing information does not affect the operation of the scanner.

Once the team had concluded that their mechanisms for detecting and blocking accurately detects background activity in applications, without causing damage to the performance, they immediately apply its search technology in the study of five hundred most popular apps on Google Play. Advanced analysis showed that 46.2% of the compounds in applications are hidden. The table below contains the most frequent requests to various services for applications.


The fact that the API Google are at the top is not surprising, but the position Gameloft It may make you wonder. Despite the fact that out of 500 applications have been tested only 17 products from Gameloft, 87.4% of the compounds in their applications are implicit.

Does it affect consumption charge?

Sure, yes, but the level of this influence will depend entirely on the particular application. Keep in touch with the Internet application will already have one active compound, be it Wi-Fi or mobile network, so the cost performance of 1-2 additional compounds will be negligible. On the other hand, Gameloft carries on average 46 hidden connection for each application. Even if each of them uses a very small percentage of “horses” unit, then all together they give an impressive load.

This state of affairs is not a revelation. It has long been known that the Android-applications do not regret our smart battery; Many products, which are based on lay freemium business model may download hefty promotional materials in the background, concealing the connection speed and leaving the modem active much longer than necessary.

Still, these studies explain why large companies are suffering from massive problems with security and hacking of user information. The developer who creates a product with a dozen hidden connections without any impact on the service itself, often to the security of personal information. It is also clear that the developers need to make, and the inclusion of advertising is not something wrong, but the application to hundreds of connections without the knowledge of the end user, and it will most likely affect the consumption of the battery, keeping private information, or all at once .

The original material, the author – Joel Hruska

Elir: such news pop up in the news at regular intervals, they often affected by certain products, such as, for example, stories with multiple location requests keyboard Swype. It is difficult to say that without exception all the hidden connections are potentially dangerous, but we, the end users, disliked the fact that the “covert activities” applications at least adversely affect the operation of devices. If you dig deeper, you will likely find a lot of interesting things. I did not alarmist, but worth thinking. Moreover, the people behind this study is quite a serious approach to the process.



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