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From my understanding, a rooted Android phone mean that the user will be accessing everything on the phone, just like a root user. So, installing a Apps mean that the Apps will also have root privileges.

So, does a non-rooted ones more safer than those rooted phone? (In another word, will rooted Android phone make it a easy target for Apps that are actually malware or virus to attack?)

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The user doesn't access everything as root. See Does rooting mean I will always run my device as root? and the dupe it was linked to for more on that (not sure if that affects your question any). –  eldarerathis Nov 2 '12 at 1:40
    
Note that there has been malware that actually attempted to root devices itself. I'm not sure if that would allow it to work around SuperUser / SuperSU if it was already in place or if those apps would actually protect against it in the manner that the answers explain. –  Matthew Read Nov 2 '12 at 17:06
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

With root privilege, a malware app can certainly do heavy damage, but it doesn't work like that.

Just because an app is on a rooted device, it doesn't mean it gets root privilege automatically. With modern rooting standards, you'll have to permit it. When an app requests root access, a pop-up from SuperUser or SuperSU app appears asking to allow it or not. If you don't know much about the app, simply block access. If you don't pay attention to this, you deserve to experience bad things.

Update:
As a last line of defense, I'd like to add that nobody knows from where nasty malware apps can exploit a loophole. You find un-rooted devices secure, but there're apps which are able to even root a device from inside (There was a positive-purpose app named Root Exploit in Google Market which was later kicked out by Google). So, if you want to be secure, don't install unknown apps. And, if possible, use Play Store only. These suggestions are irrespective of your device is rooted or not.

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Note also that SuperSU is now used by many people instead of Superuser, because it is apparently better. I must say I couldn't get Superuser to work any more after an OS update (I think it was 4.1), but SuperSU worked. –  Cerberus Nov 2 '12 at 5:25
    
@Cerberus I don't see any difference in their core functionalities. Only nice thing about SuperSU: Its pro version adds feature of OTA RootKeeper. Anyway, I have added it to answer. Thanks... –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 2 '12 at 23:13
    
Right, I don't think there is any difference in that regard. –  Cerberus Nov 3 '12 at 2:51
    
@SachinShekhar, so can I assume that if the device is not rooted and it does not have the SuperSU or SuperUser apps installed, so, when a app wish to gets root privilege, will android pop-up a message saying that 'Oh gosh, the app wish to get root privilege, would you wish to let it have it?' –  Jack Nov 5 '12 at 2:34
    
@Jack Without SuperUser or SuperSU, there'll be no pop-up... no matter device is rooted or not. –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 5 '12 at 13:29
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Yes, and No.

If an app had root access, then it could cause untold damage - but you have to specifically give it that access.

The SuperSU or Superuser apps allow you to specify which apps have root access, and what commands they run. You can use this to stop malicious apps, and to also determine malicious apps.

So, to conclude:

  • Root access can be dangerous
  • Apps can only get root access if you allow them to
  • You can see the commands the app runs as root
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