7 Useful Android Vulnerability Scanners
There is a huge difference between an Android antivirus and an Android app that offers vulnerability scans. The former has questionable effectiveness due to the way Google developed Android as a Linux-based system with a sandbox app system. APK files do not interact with other Android apps on a deep level, as each app is a sandbox from one another unless a certain permission is provided by the user. This is a huge contrast compared to the former, vulnerability scans query the installed Android operating system in the device for unpatched portions of the operating system and apps.
In this article we provide a short list of known vulnerability scanners, compared to an antimalware can be installed in parallel with other vulnerability scanners:
Mobile App Scanner
Is not an actual app that needs to be installed on the device, but rather a vulnerability website scanner that checks an android device for vulnerabilities and exploits: https://www.htbridge.com/mobile/. Mobile App Scanner is compatible with any browser that supports HTML5, as it uses rendering that can only be possible through an HTML5-compliant browser.
Quick Android Review Kit (QARK)
Developed by LinkedIN, the professional social network, it is designed to detect vulnerabilities in android using its Python 2.7 backend. The following is a shortlist of it can detect:
2. Improper x.509 certificate validation
4. The private key in the source code
5. Exploitable WebView configurations
6. Outdated API versions
7. Potential data leakage
This app does not scan Android’s vulnerability, but the vulnerability of a particular Android app. By uploading a .apk file of an app to SandDroid, it can detect if a known vulnerability that exist in the wild applies to the apk file. It determines and gives valuable advice to the user if the apk is safe for install or not.
APKSCAN by Nviso
Just like Mobile App Scanner above, APKSCAN is an online service developed to scan an Android device for vulnerability. However, unlike the former APKSCAN sends the result of the check through the user’s email address. With its powerful scan engine, it can detect malicious functions in Disk activity, network activity and even the operations of the call and apps. It also detects if an unauthorized function such as unexpected encryption is happening and it alerts the user immediately.
A comprehensive app where the phone is scanned for all the app installed and conveniently produces a report what vulnerabilities that installed apps currently have. With its report system being this comprehensive, the user is given enough information to determine if they need to fully reset their phones to remove the vulnerabilities due to the unused or outdated app.
It is a cross between vulnerability scanner and an antimalware app for Android. It features multiple scan engines from Bitdefender, Avira, Comodo, AVG, ESET, and Mcafee to become one of the most comprehensive virus scans on the platform. This is the closest the user can use multiple antivirus programs on one device without causing nasty conflicts.
A typical vulnerability report, with an added twist of analytics useful for web developers as well.
Kevin Jones949 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.