0

I'm concerned about the number of application stores which have appeared, which are hosting an application (which I post for free) on the Google Play Store.

Doing a quick search for "Android App Store" I get many hundreds of thousands of results, with my application appearing on a large number of them.

Aside from writing an article on my home page, explaining about the risks of downloading Android Applications from 3rd party sites, what else can I do ?

Is it the company behind the application to ensure that the apps are removed? OR is it just a business risk that I have to accept when publishing applications for Android?

  • 1
    If your question is "how do I detect that my app has been tampered with?", that might be better for Stack Overflow, and I would expect it has already been discussed there. – CommonsWare Dec 2 '16 at 22:41
  • No - my question is from a Corporate Security POV; what do you do with these applications? – KingJohnno Dec 3 '16 at 0:02
  • @KingJohnno this is not a security question. Your question is about the developer's responsibility and the business risk (to reputation?). I'm tempted to remove the bounty and close the question unless you can edit it to make a clear security case. – schroeder Dec 5 '16 at 7:35
  • 1
    I think that unless there's some copyright law about the redistribution of your software that applies to the license you used there is not much you can do about it – Mr. E Dec 7 '16 at 15:52
2
+50

Most of those 3rd party sites are hosted and managed in countries that do not really care about software licenses and/or abuses or any other kind of legal complaint :)

You can always try to contact the owners of those 3rd party application stores, but don't expect too much from it. And also, it'll be a never ending task.

There is at least one thing that you as a developer are able to do. Is making the tampering of your application a little bit more complicated, by adding integrity checks that will trigger a message of warning every time a user opens the application.

Please have in mind that this is also bypassable, but if you perform code obfuscation (i.e. Proguard) in addition to those checks, it'll make the work harder to those people tampering and/or re-distributing your applications.

You must also have in consideration that these recommendations are just mitigations, but you won't be able to completely stop this, as some markets as China completely rely on those 3rd party markets to get the applications. So there will always be someone re-distributing for them :)

Hope I helped a little !

1

There is little to be done about the unauthorized stores offering your apps. True, you can report them to the BSA, but this will have little effect on those stores outside of the United States. I would suggest, however, that you obtain a code signing certificate to mark your applications as authentic and unmodified. This will help your customers to trust your brand and reduce the possibility of your app being used in nefarious ways.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.