E-Threats Mobile & Gadgets

Instead of Football Matches, Apps Play Unauthorized Code

The highly anticipated World Cup 2014 may turn hazardous for smartphone-wielding fans, according to Bitdefender findings. FIFA World Cup 2014 Live Match, a free app from Google Play, could download and run unverified code, despite stating it allows fans watch live football matches by providing a series of hyperlinks.

Allowing an app to download and run code at will is like signing a check in blank and the handset owner might end up a victim of a man-in-the-middle attack where someone intercepts and pushes, for instance, a possibly malicious update. All it takes is a vulnerable Widdit version and an unsecure wireless Internet connection.

A vulnerable Widdit SDK – an advertising framework – allows a JAR file be downloaded via HTTP (unencrypted) and doesn’t do any security or integrity checks within the downloader to make sure the data was not manipulated on the way.

Additionally, FIFA World Cup 2014 Live Match requests the permission to track the location of the handset and leaks the unique device identifier. According to the app permission set, it may also intercept text or multimedia messages received by the device owner, read the browsing history and the contact list. While many apps have a legitimate need to see contacts, this one doesn’t.

Android users are advised to exercise extreme caution when installing apps and to thoroughly check the app requirements. Installing a mobile security solution such as Bitdefender Mobile Security, which detects virulent adware, helps users keep their data secure. Bitdefender also recommends Clueful for Android, a free app that offers an expert opinion on how apps on your handset treat your privacy.

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

Note: 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


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.