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Can an android antivirus detect or even prevent data-leakage of a mobile phone? Moreover if the user has installed .apk outside playstore. I searched on google, but answers like this: https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/data-theft does not answer my question...

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    Your question doesn't seem particularly clear. What sort of data-leakage do you want to prevent? Data being stolen by malware? Or data being harvested by legitimate apps you have installed? Or accidental data leakage? Do you have any particular antivirus in mind?
    – nobody
    Dec 18, 2021 at 20:13
  • Yes, sorry! I mean from malware, trojans and things like this... I mostly use Kaspersky and AVG! Thanks... Dec 18, 2021 at 20:15
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    Thanks for the clarification. At this point however, your question boils down to whether android antiviruses are effective or not since the antivirus can only stop malware from stealing data if it detects it. And the answer to that is, it depends. See also: security.stackexchange.com/a/32286/235964
    – nobody
    Dec 18, 2021 at 20:25

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Antivirus software on Android don't have access to TLS encrypted traffic. And there is also no way to modify the system as app or user to make TLS decryption possible.

Therefore an antivirus software can not detect any data leakage to a remote server if the app uses TLS encrypted communication.

If the app had been installed from Google Play store or via side loading does not matter.

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  • So, as I have read from the above answer that @nobody posted, the only way is if the antivirus detects a malware/trojan and informs me, and cannot do anything to prevent data-leakage (as Robert describes).... Dec 18, 2021 at 21:07
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    @just_learning If the antivirus system contains a local VPN (start and endpoint on device so that all traffic goes through the VPN app) it would be possible to block network communication of a detected malicious app. But I don't know if any Android antivirus system implements something like this.
    – Robert
    Dec 19, 2021 at 11:18
  • Last question...(I am not opening new thread, I ask it here). In a smartphone data-leakage the hacker removes all the data? So, the user understands he has data-leakage, or the hacker can just copy them from the target mobile to his computer? Dec 19, 2021 at 18:03
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    @just_learning That would be the common pattern for a ransomware, but I have not heard of a ransomware targeting smartphones. Because smartphones can be lost easily it doesn't make sense to have a smartphone contain important data without having a backup. For data-leakage I would expect to leak data like credit card numbers, private phone books or in case of a company business related data. Deleting such data after leaking would only draw attention to the malware.
    – Robert
    Dec 19, 2021 at 18:47

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