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For rooted phones, there are several apps which require root privileges. Knowing this, the user does allow the app to get root. Now, the app would have been installed with a set of x permissions, say INTERNET, LOCATION. Now, on gaining root, is it possible for the app to secretly (or not) give itself extra permissions eg. BLUETOOTH ? I read somewhere that the Apps requiring INTERNET or BLUETOOTH permissions are added to a user group which has access to these device files. So, can a rooted app associate itself to that group and gain the permission ?

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Yes, all rooted apps theoretically can use the entire system, including all facilities that otherwise need app permissions. They could also modify the permissions database "under the radar" to grant its non-root part more permissions than were requested at install time.

You have to trust root-using apps not to violate their given permissions.

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  • interesting. So is there a permission database for every app ? It would be great if you could point me to some documentation regarding the same.
    – asudhak
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 20:58
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    Each app's permissions are store authoritatively in its (compiled and signed) AndroidManifest.xml inside its APK file. Current Android implementations cache the permissions in /data/system/packages.xml, but as that is an implementation detail, you'll find little documentation on it. Anyway, changing this file as root (and quickly rebooting before the package manager overwrites it again) makes permission changes persistent across reboots.
    – altruizine
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 21:43
  • nice ! am assuming most Android 'malware' try to do this
    – asudhak
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 19:42
  • They can't -- unless they have root permissions. Luckily.
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 0:36

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