E-Threats Mobile & Gadgets

Bad Version of Vulna Active on Google Play – in GTA V PC Countdown

GTA V PC Countdown, a rather popular application on Google Play, incorporates a vulnerable version of ad-serving framework AppLovin, also known as Vulna. It’s extremely aggressive at collecting private information via applications that register hundreds of millions of installs.

Vulna is also vulnerable to arbitrary code execution, as demonstrated by two Bitdefender researchers in a proof-of-concept exploit.

In search of a quick buck, GTA V PC Countdown developers piggyback on the name and logo of one of the most anticipated PC games of the moment to get as many smartphone users to download and install their app. And they were proven right. It gathered over 50,000 installs despite its requesting a great many details highly invasive for users’ privacy.

The application, comprising two ad-frameworks, AppLovin and Airpush SDKs, can access information including GPS- and network-based location, network and Wi-Fi connections access, phone status and identity. Plus, it also includes permissions to read the accounts on the device, Web bookmarks and history, protected storage and modify and delete the contents of USB storage.

By installing such an application and granting the above-mentioned permissions, users expose themselves and their sensitive data to unauthorized scrutiny.

Too few of these permissions can be justified by the profile of this application, which is a rudimentary counter in the form of a wallpaper or widget to call attention to a GTA V PC release allegedly scheduled for March 2014.

From aggressive adware in thief-ware and malvertising threats to weaponized apps via AndroRAT, smartphone users need to learn fast to protect their gadgets from a wide variety of Android threats.

A good privacy protection tools such as Clueful for Android or a mobile security solution, such as Bitdefender Mobile Security, along with extreme caution when installing apps and checking the permissions they require will help users have a healthy mobile experience online.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Bitdefender Clueful Team.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.

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