Adversaries may request device administrator permissions to perform malicious actions.
By abusing the device administration API, adversaries can perform several nefarious actions, such as resetting the device’s password for Device Lockout, factory resetting the device to Delete Device Data and any traces of the malware, disabling all of the device’s cameras, or make it more difficult to uninstall the app.
Device administrators must be approved by the user at runtime, with a system popup showing which of the actions have been requested by the app. In conjunction with other techniques, such as Input Injection, an app can programmatically grant itself administrator permissions without any user input.
|S0539||Red Alert 2.0|
|S0318||XLoader for Android|
Application vetting can check for the string
|M1006||Use Recent OS Version||
Changes were introduced in Android 7 to make abuse of device administrator permissions more difficult.
Users should be told that it is very rare for an app to request device administrator permissions, and that any requests for the permissions should be scrutinized.
Users can see when an app requests device administrator permissions. Users can also view which apps have device administrator permissions in the settings menu.