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I want to install a few banking apps for my bank accounts. I also have modded or cracked games/applications installed on my phone, but my phone is not rooted. Will adding a banking app increase the risk of it getting hacked?

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The security on the system depends on the security of the hardware, the OS and the applications. While there is a strict separation between apps by design in modern smartphone OS, there are regularly security issues which undermine this design and make it possible for unprivileged applications to get elevated privileges which includes sniffing activity (audio, video, screenshots, ...) and accessing data from other apps.

Providing mods and cracked apps has its own business model, similar to providing illegal copies or streams of movies etc. Part of this model can be to misuse the installed application for displaying ads, using it for ad-fraud, providing "residential" proxies which can be sold to others or otherwise compromise the system to make money from it.

Combining this business model with regular security issues in the OS shows a clear risk of getting the system compromised. This is especially true on Android where lots of phones don't get security updates in time or don't get any updates at all. And this is a clear risk for banking and finance apps, which are very lucrative targets for hackers.

In short: it is not safe.

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    Just to make it clear that it does not mean that "if there are no cracked apps on the phone that the banking app is suddenly 100% secure". It is just that without such apps the risk would be lower by some amount. Any app installed (e.g. there are hidden malicious apps on Gplay), any software bug (e.g. just surfing the net randomly), any social engineering trick (e.g. opening the fake email), choice of bank(ing app), even just having wifi or mobile data enabled -- they will all increase the risk by various amounts. Security if not black/white picture, but millions of shades of grey. Dec 6, 2023 at 14:58
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    @MatijaNalis: I don't make any claims about the inherent security of banking apps, since this also would be out of scope of the question. I only explain the additional risks in the situation asked by the OP. Dec 6, 2023 at 15:24
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In addition to the issue of the OS having vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an app (to then target other apps), the banking app can also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited from another app.

Example would be:

  • storing data in locations accessible by other apps
  • having exported activities/content providers which allow exploitation
  • having sensitive screens which allow other apps to screenshot them
  • attacks which can target the user (akin to phishing attacks for web apps), eg tap/task jacking

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