Has Your Android App Been Repackaged as Malware?

trendmicro.pngTrend Micro have an interesting recent article on repackaged Android apps. That is, apps that have been downloaded, reverse engineered, modified and re-uploaded to app stores to look like the original app. Modifications often include malware to capture private data and/or generate income from advertisements. Trend Micro found that nearly 80% of the top 50 free apps on the Play store had bogus versions.

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This is not to say apps downloaded from the Play store are likely to be re-packaged. Trend Micro said none were found on the Play Store but instead were on other 3rd party stores.

Nevertheless, it’s a problem if you are a developer or stakeholder of an app. Someone is using your IP to generate income and/or infect people who might eventually blame you. You will also end up providing support for those bogus apps.  I have some further information if you wish to make your app more difficult to reverse-engineer.