Questions tagged [security]

For more generic questions relating security issues. For specific issues having their own tags, please use those -- e.g. 'malware', 'antivirus', 'privacy', 'lost-phone'. Please see the full tag wiki for more. For more in-depth Android security issues, you might rather want to visit our sister-site at http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/android

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77
votes
5answers
72k views

How can I verify the authenticity of an APK file I downloaded?

The latest update of Google Maps is unavailable in my country, so I downloaded a version by googling for "Google Maps 5.4.0 apk". I did in fact find it, but now I wonder how I can tell if this is in ...
70
votes
6answers
410k views

Disable Screenshot Security

Some apps don't allow screenshots so how can I still take a screenshot? It is my phone and I should be able to do whatever I want with it so why is there even a feature to disallow screenshots? ...
65
votes
6answers
76k views

My Gmail is signed in through the app on ex-boyfriend's phone

I had my email signed in on the Gmail app on my boyfriend's phone who is now on the other side of the country. I've asked him a couple times to disconnect it but recently checked out Google Play and ...
59
votes
8answers
32k views

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android? [closed]

Suppose I want to run some program which requests too many permissions. For example, record from the microphone or read IMEI of my phone. However, there are no practical explanation why recording from ...
57
votes
5answers
5k views

Is an antivirus really needed for Android?

I use Linux for half a decade now, so I am not used to dealing with viruses anymore. To my surprise, I saw some discussion about antiviruses in Android. I haven't installed any yet, but this bugs me: ...
53
votes
4answers
17k views

Just how secure is a pattern lock?

I recently had a phone stolen. It's been replaced, I've changed my passwords, the phone company has shut down connectivity for the stolen one... I think I'm pretty much as safe as I can be. However, ...
52
votes
2answers
13k views

What is QuadRooter? Are 900 million Android devices vulnerable?

What actually is QuadRooter and how does it work on Android devices? It is currently in the news that 900 millions Android devices are vulnerable: Serious security flaws that could give attackers ...
46
votes
10answers
22k views

Is there a way to block access to or wipe my Google data for a lost/stolen phone

If my phone was ever lost or stolen, my only real concern is data and apps associated with my Google account, such as my Gmail, the ability to purchase apps from the Market, and maybe Picasa albums. ...
43
votes
12answers
106k views

How do I avoid the server-specified security policies for my work e-mail?

When I signed into my e-mail for work (we're on Microsoft Exchange) there were a number of server-specified security policies (See below) How do I avoid these?: I just received a Nexus 7 and signed ...
41
votes
3answers
4k views

Encrypt the phone's internal storage

Is there a way to encrypt my phone's internal memory, in the same way you would encrypt a computer's partition? Ideally, the phone would always ask for the password when booting, and even if someone ...
38
votes
2answers
132k views

How is the Gmail password stored in Android - and where?

I have looked around and found no information on how Android manages to store passwords on the device. Especially Gmail passwords. I'm looking to learn how Android encrypts and stores passwords ? What ...
36
votes
7answers
8k views

Stagefright security issue: what can a regular user do to mitigate the issue without a patch?

There appears to be a giant security vulnerability with Android that seems to basically affect all phones. PC World wrote: The vast majority of Android phones can be hacked by sending them a ...
34
votes
1answer
33k views

What's the security implication of having an unlocked boot loader?

Nexus devices can be unlocked using the fastboot command fastboot oem unlock to install a custom firmware. For security reasons, the phone is wiped when this command is executed. However after this is ...
33
votes
3answers
75k views

Bypass "Swipe up to unlock" on Android Lollipop lock screen

I recently flashed my Nexus 4 to Android Lollipop using the factory image. I have set a pattern lock for unlocking the device. But whenever I turn on the phone, I have to click on the little lock ...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

How does the Heartbleed security vulnerability affect my Android device?

The "Heartbleed" vulnerability in particular versions of OpenSSL is a serious security issue which allows malicious servers or clients to undetectably obtain unauthorized data from the other end of an ...
31
votes
3answers
34k views

How do I get rid of "Network may be monitored" in KitKat?

Ever since I've installed my own CA in the key store I'm getting warnings that the network may be monitored. Well, I guess that's a valid warning if I don't trust these certificates, but I really ...
30
votes
3answers
9k views

What are the security disadvantages of rooting an Android phone?

I know there was a discussion previously BUT they didn't talk about security. E.g.: if I root my phone will all my apps run with root permission? Related: Are there any risks to rooting a device?
30
votes
1answer
6k views

Suspicious notification from "Find My Mobile"

I just received a notification from Samsungs "Find My Mobile" service, without having triggered anything. The same thing happened to my work mate today morning. As I almost never use my Samsung ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Can there be malicious apps on Google Play?

Do I need to worry about malicious apps on Google Play, or can I trust everything I install, so long as I install it from Google Play? And if I need to worry, what red flags should I look for - ...
29
votes
3answers
82k views

List of open ports on Android

Is there a way, on a non-rooted Android device, to see a list of what apps are listening on what port? Or even a way to see if an app is listening on a specific port?
28
votes
3answers
219k views

How can I disable the screen lock password in lollipop?

I have enabled password protection on the lock screen on my Nexus 5 Lollipop device: After enabling password, I can't seem to be able to cancel it. Any idea how to go back to None or Swipe?
28
votes
2answers
24k views

What do Android application permissions mean?

When installing an application, the application lists permissions that it needs to perform its functions. I am creating this list of the the system defined permissions and a description of what they ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Audit app permissions easily in one place?

Is there anyway to list all the applications installed on your phone and the permissions they require all on one page, or export the list so it can easily be audited?
27
votes
5answers
16k views

My phone was just stolen an hour or so ago. Are there any options for tracking?

I realize this is a long shot, but my phone was lost or stolen a few hours ago. At the time it was stolen, I didn't have any specific applications installed to track it or wipe the data. So... my bad....
26
votes
2answers
4k views

Security of Paid apps in Google Play?

What measures does Google takes to ensure that paid apps that are downloaded do not get spread for free? Currently I see a possibility that can leak out a large number of apps: Someone pays to ...
26
votes
2answers
53k views

Android Smart Lock: Why is there no option to use WiFi?

My Android device (v. 7.1.2) offers several options to use the "Smart Lock" feature. This feature uses some rules to automatically disable the lockscreen. Available rules are: Trusted place Trusted ...
25
votes
6answers
48k views

Certificate Install without mandatory PIN lockscreen

Google Support says: The type of lock that's acceptable may be predetermined by your system administrator. Where I can define what's acceptable? I can regenerate the certificate if needed. So I ...
25
votes
3answers
237k views

How can I stop being redirected to the App Store/Google Store by dodgy ad-scripts?

There are a load of sites that do this now, and it's really annoying: I visit a content site on my Android device. 10-15 seconds after loading starts the site hangs for a few seconds. Google play ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

Why encrypt the device?

Android 5 offers two encryption features: Encrypt the device (phone) Encrypt the external micro SD card I understand the benefit of 2.: if someone takes my micro SD out and wants to use it on ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

What Android sync'd data is encrypted?

With the release of the firesheep plug-in for firefox it has become trivial for website browsing on open Wi-Fi networks to be hijacked by 3rd party listeners. Android offers the convenient auto-sync ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a black list for Android apps?

Is there a blacklist yet for Android apps? After reading things like this on slashdot, I think this sort of thing would be extremely helpful. As much as I like Android because I'm not censored as to ...
23
votes
8answers
12k views

Securing a young child's tablet

My wife has decided to get the kids a set of android tablets for christmas. These are Coby Kyros 4GB wi-fi only models. The kids are ages 6-10 so I don’t particularly want to let them have free ...
23
votes
3answers
14k views

Does official Gmail app use a secure connection?

As simple as that, when I'm using the official Gmail app to access my email account, does it use a secure connection?
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some apps with no internet features require internet access?

A couple of apps I've installed or considered say they require internet access even though they have no obvious internet features. One of the most surprising ones was a simple compass app. Why is ...
23
votes
6answers
21k views

Where to find a PIN lock screen that scrambles the keypad on every use?

Is there some way to get a lock screen whose PIN pad changes number layouts every time it's used? It seems like a very basic way to thwart smudge attacks and yet my (broken?) google-fu can't find any ...
23
votes
3answers
21k views

Force VPN usage?

On an android phone, stock or modded rom, is it possible to force the use of VPN? E.g. only allow traffic tunneled by VPN, don't allow traffic without using VPN to make sure that no unencrypted ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

I have sold my phone on eBay. What should I do before I send it off?

I have an Android phone which I just sold on eBay. What measures should I take before posting it off to its new home? Please answer thoroughly!
22
votes
2answers
2k views

If I use free WiFi in a hotspot, can data be easily sniffed?

If I use my mobile device in a Wifi hotspot, can I take it that it bears the same risks as using a laptop in that data can be easily sniffed and that the mobile device is also open to man-in-the-...
22
votes
1answer
29k views

Is it a good idea to force stop apps after using them?

I find myself using force stop for every application once I have finished using them. Is this a good practice? Are there any performance or security benefits of doing this? Is force stopping an app ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Open source app for remote wiping Android phone?

I recently lost my android phone, and regretted not having a remote wipe app installed. However, I do not trust 3rd party compiled apps with such power (too many weak links). Does anyone know of an ...
22
votes
1answer
80k views

What Trusted Root CAs are included in Android by default?

There doesn't seem to be a central Android resource that lists the Trusted Root CAs included in the OS or default browser (related question on SO), so how can I find out which are included on my phone ...
22
votes
2answers
9k views

Stolen phone: is changing your GMail password enough?

My Galaxy phone got stolen today. Of course I blocked my SIM card and changed my password for GMail (and went to the police) but is this enough? Could the person that stole my phone still log in to ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Why can't a keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy S3 collect passwords?

When I enable an input method (a keyboard app) on a Nexus device, I see the following confirmation message: This input method may be able to collect all the text that you type, including personal ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

If I buy an Android phone today and want security updates for as long as possible, how should I choose a phone? I'm willing to use custom ROMs.​

Background Quite a few software developers offer special "long-term support" (LTS) or "extended-support release" (ESR) editions of their products. You install the product once and get security ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I secure/encrypt SD card data transparent to apps?

Are there any off-the-shelf options for securing the contents of an SD card so that files written by apps writing to SD are encrypted? If so, what is the best option? I'm looking for something for ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I find a lost phone or help people return it?

I'm looking for an app like Where's My Droid to help locate a lost device. Ideally I'm hoping there is one that might have two specific features: The ability to display a message to the screen to ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

When selling your phone, what steps should be taken to make sure that all personal data has been removed?

I am getting rid of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to know what steps I should take to make sure that private information has been deleted from the phone. I have removed the SD card and cleared all of ...
20
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it reasonably safe to use PIN code for encryption?

On the Android 4.0 (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) there is a posibilty to encrypt the phone. I found this about the encryption on Android 3.0, is the same algorithms used in Android 4? http://source.android....
19
votes
7answers
21k views

How to know if a side-loaded app is safe?

How can we be assured that the APK of an app that we are downloading from a website is safe to install on our Android phone? Is there a way to know that the downloaded file is safe? Is there an app ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it "safe" to provide users with the apk file?

I was wondering, if I have an app that is available on the Play Store, is it "safe" to provide a direct download of the apk file to someone (either signed with the proper keys, or just debug-version)? ...

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