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How Safe Is It To Allow Apps From Unknown Sources?

Discussion in 'Google TV Apps' started by CatfishRivers, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I checked the box in my settings to allow apps from unknown sources. It seems as though there are currently a small amount of apps designed for GTV - and in reading the forum it kind of seems that allowing apps from unknown sources (sideloading) is currently the 'in thing' to do with most GTV users?

    However being totally new to this I'm wondering how safe this is to allow apps from unknown sources? Could I end up bricking my Revue due to a virus? Or how about just sticking with the highly rated popular apps?

    Thus far the only apps I've installed are Dropbox, File Expert, ES File Explorer, Amazon App Store and Maxthon web browser (subsequently uninstalled it).
     
  2. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    It is the entirety of the internet, its hard to make a blanket statement extensive as that. It's like the Facts of Life theme song, " You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life"

    Not bricking, but you are selectable to malware which can cause identify theft and give free access to some unscrupulous person to your network via your Google TV

    Again, it depends on where you download them off. The safest place is from a developer sanctioned repository, like the Android Market. But even that's a gamble since Google does not have a review process at all.

    Have fun reading these articles, "From Russia...with Malware?" "Mobile Malware Development Continues To Rise, Android Leads The Way" and "SpyEye Trojan Targets Android OS"
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply eferz. I read all three of the articles that you posted. I got the impression from the articles that much of the theft occurs through premium text messages. Would you agree?

    I was wondering about the "permissions" that are requested before downloading an app. These permissions seem kind of scary to me (to allow them) and kind of 'intrusive'. I noticed that some of the apps require 4 permissions. Is this normal? As for as permissions - is there any advice you can offer as to which ones should be avoided and which ones are generally legit (depending on the function of the app)?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  4. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Considering one of the articles indicated, "Of the known Android malware samples, 55%, acts in one way or another as spyware. The other major type of attack, which make up 44%, are SMS Trojans", so I cannot agree. It is just SMS Trojans are more pronounced because they create a situation with instant liabilities. However, spyware gathering information for identity theft can cause greater harm to the victim over the long run.

    Yes, it is normal. Especially, if the app requires resources not normally provided. It is difficult to make a blanket statement of things to avoid because it obviously depends on the app. Sure I can say, "It is generally safer to not give your keys to anyone who knocks on your door." However, what if one of those people is your wife or one of your children? I would recommend looking at the list of permissions and be suspicious of every permission it claims it needs. You have to take responsibility in which permissions you authorize, and that includes taking the time to understand them.
     

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