Gmail (Android / Google Play)

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This application is available for Android. This app is designed to access your gmail account to exchange emails with your friends, colleagues, etc. The latest build was released on June 28, 2017. Our latest check was performed on Feb 26th, 2017

Findings Summary

Our examination revealed total 18 items, where were 7 DAR items and 11 DIT items found. Among DAR items were found 0 worst items, 7 bad items, 0 good items, and 0 best items. Among DIT items were found 0 worst items, 1 bad item, 10 good items, and 0 best items.

Below you find 2 infographics summarizing what we described above. Each image provides information about both DAR and DIT items.

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Everything presented below is related to well-known CWEs, such as Sensitive data leakage [CWE-200], Unsafe sensitive data storage [CWE-312], Unsafe sensitive data transmission [CWE-319]. You can read more about it here.

Now let’s go deeper and examine each data item’s protection level.

Application Description

Let’s cite the description of this application below:

Gmail is an easy to use email app that saves you time and keeps your messages safe. Get your messages instantly via push notifications, read and respond online & offline, and find any message quickly.
With the Gmail app you get:

  • An organized inbox – Social and promotional messages are sorted into categories so you can read messages from friends and family first.
  • Less spam – Gmail blocks spam before it hits your inbox to keep your account safe and clutter free.
  • 15GB of free storage – You won’t need to delete messages to save space.
  • Multiple account support – Use both Gmail and non-Gmail addresses (Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, or any other IMAP/POP email) right from the app.

Protection levels.

Locally stored data (Data-at-Rest, DAR).

Locally stored data groups include Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information, Account Information, Credentials Information, Message Information.
The average DAR value is 3.50 points (7.00 points of system protection and 0.00 points of own protection). It equals to a typical value (3.5 points, where’s 7 points of system protection and 0 points of own protection).

Items with average value 3.50 points (7 points of system protection, 0 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, extra data found that shouldn’t be accessed where system protection level means – root/jailbreak is required but not possible without wiping device data, and own protection level means – stored as is.

– Contact Short Profile (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information’ Group) – Name, Email ID, Phone number of contacts. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info locally stored, cached or transferred over the network and belong to this application if it’s social even,

– Account Data (‘Account Information’ Group) – Basic info about account like name, a list of sub-account (e.g. financial or other) and some linked data like a phone number. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Media URLs (‘Account Information’ Group) – URLs related to media info such as stream media or profile’s media, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Credentials (IDs) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Only account IDs like app or 3rd party user IDs including emails, phone number, usernames, etc. (depends on apps). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Account Settings ‘n’ Configs (‘Account Information’ Group) – Information about your account settings and configurations. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Messages (‘Message Information’ Group) – Different types of messages, conversations, except for SMS, MMS but including recipient and sender IDs and attachments. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Media URLs (‘Message Information’ Group) – URLs related to media info such as stream media or profile’s media, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments

Keep in mind if you’re using some Android devices such Samsung, LG or another device with an unlocked or non-locked loader that allow rooting your device without user action, the system level equals 6 points instead of 7. It means your data can be stolen without involving your actions.

Transferred data (Data-in-Transit, DIT).

Transferred data groups include Credentials Information, Account Information, Message Information, Application Information.
The average DIT value is 4.91 points (5.82 points of system protection and 4.00 points of own protection). It is higher than a typical value (4 points, where’s 4 points of system protection and 4 points of own protection).

Items’ GROUP #1 with average value 5.00 points (6 points of system protection, 4 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, data is not available all the time or partially accessed where system protection level means – MITM prevented or fake certificate importing prevented, but plaintext non-protected traffic is intercepted, and own protection level means – bypassed by fake/stolen root certificates.

– Credentials (IDs) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Only account IDs like app or 3rd party user IDs including emails, phone number, usernames, etc. (depends on apps). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Credentials (Passwords) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Well-known passwords or PINs you’re using to get access to your account (usually it is worse than tokens because it gives full access to your account). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Credentials (Tokens) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Different tokens used to get access to your account, except for passwords but including app or 3rd party tokens, secret keys, etc. (usually give full access to your account). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Credentials (Activation IDs) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Two-factor activation code received in messages. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Media Data (‘Account Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Media Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Account Data (‘Account Information’ Group) – Basic info about account like name, a list of sub-account (e.g. financial or other) and some linked data like a phone number. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Media URLs (‘Account Information’ Group) – URLs related to media info such as stream media or profile’s media, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Messages (‘Message Information’ Group) – Different types of messages, conversations, except for SMS, MMS but including recipient and sender IDs and attachments. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Contact Short Profile (‘Message Information’ Group) – Name, Email ID, Phone number of contacts. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments

Items’ GROUP #2 with average value 4.00 points (4 points of system protection, 4 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, data available if it’s allowed only and may require user action where system protection level means – informs if fake certificate imported into a device, and own protection level means – bypassed by fake/stolen root certificates.

– Application Configs (‘Application Information’ Group) – Different configuration files created by your app, perhaps app permissions. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to the app, app settings, including installed apps or installers

Keep in mind if you’re using out-of-date Android < 7.0, the system level equals 4 points instead of 6. It means your data can be stolen with a crafted preinstalled certificate on the device or if someone makes you install a certificate. Also, if you’re using out-of-date Android < 5.0, the system level equals 2 points instead of 4. It means your data can be stolen without involving your actions.

Privacy Policy

Full application privacy policy is available here.

You may find privacy policy details proceeding the link above to compare developer’s vision on data protection with our results.