Android is an awesome operating system that provides us developers with incredible capabilities. There are quite a few great apps and features Android users benefit from that are simply impossible to implement on other platforms.
Unfortunately, nothing comes free, and this wide array of capabilities is the main reason why Android is so vulnerable from privacy and security standpoints.
In our latest research, we decided to focus on the privacy issues. We took a look at the top 1000 Android apps to find out if they collect any sensitive personal data.
More than a month has passed since our last research on this topic. We decided to check what has changed; understand the current state of in-browser crypto-mining, and its growth rate and trends.
We have collected new statistics about cryptocurrency mining on websites. This time we did not limit our search to the most popular 100K websites and tried to cover more.
This autumn the news spread that some websites had been making money by mining cryptocurrencies in their users’ browsers. We have been among the first to add protection from this hidden activity. AdGuard users now receive warnings if a website has been trying to mine, and the users are given the option to let it continue or to block the mining script from running.
We decided to research the issue more so that we could understand its scale and impact. On the Alexa list of the top one hundred thousand websites, we looked for the codes for CoinHive and JSEcoin, the most popular solutions for browser mining in use now.
Shortly after Apple decided to ban legit systemwide ad blockers from the App Store, we at AdGuard stumbled upon an app called AdblockPrime, claiming to provide systemwide ad blocking for free.
The app is advertised via Google AdSense, which means that money has been invested in its promotion. How is a free app supposed to pay off?
UPDATED on 25.09.2017, details are in the bottom of the article
Have you ever thought that your keyboard could be a professional spy? And we are not talking about jamesbondish handsome spies from Hollywood movies, but about the overt and constant home phoning of the personal information with its future distribution to third parties. Our recent research discovered a popular Android keyboard to spy on its users, with tons of personal information being sent to remote servers and using a prohibited technique to download dangerous executable code.