VK (Android / Google Play)

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This application is available for Android. This app is designed to unite people all over the world and helps them communicate comfortably and promptly. The latest build was released on July 5, 2017. Our latest check was performed on Apr 11th, 2017

Findings Summary

Our examination revealed total 32 items, where were 13 DAR items and 19 DIT items found. Among DAR items were found 0 worst items, 9 bad items, 0 good items, and 4 best items. Among DIT items were found 2 worst items, 0 bad items, 17 good items, and 0 best items.

Below you find 4 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:

VK is a social network that unites people all over the world and helps them communicate comfortably and promptly. You can message your friends and see what”s new in their lives, share photos, watch films, and listen to music. Our users join communities, meet new people, and adore playing games.
The new VK app lets you enjoy all this and much more.

 

Protection levels.

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

Locally stored data groups include Credentials Information, Message Information, Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information, Social Information, Account Information, Media Information.
The average DAR value is 4.73 points (7.00 points of system protection and 2.46 points of own protection). It is higher than a typical value (3.5 points, where’s 7 points of system protection and 0 points of own protection).

Items’ GROUP #1 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.

– 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 (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.,

– 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 (‘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,

– Media URLs (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact 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 info locally stored, cached or transferred over the network and belong to this application if it’s social even,

– Stream (‘Social Information’ Group) – Any social or another stream activity including posts, walls, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Media URLs (‘Social 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 info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– 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

Items’ GROUP #2 with average value 7.50 points (7 points of system protection, 8 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, compliance but there are publicly known techniques to access the data including forensics one where system protection level means – root/jailbreak is required but not possible without wiping device data, and own protection level means – compliance encryption algorithms ‘n’ security mechanisms implementations.

– Media Data (‘Media Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any data like photo, image, video, audio,

– 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,

– Media Data (‘Social Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Media Data (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. 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

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, Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information, Social Information, Media Information, Personal ‘n’ Private Information.
The average DIT value is 4.47 points (5.37 points of system protection and 3.58 points of own protection). It is less 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.,

– Account Details (‘Account Information’ Group) – Full info about your account including account membership, expiration, profile, linked data and account, 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 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,

– 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,

– Contact Profile (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information’ Group) – Full info about contacts including name email id, phone numbers, gender, linked accounts, geodata, stream and social activity. 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,

– Media URLs (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact 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 info locally stored, cached or transferred over the network and belong to this application if it’s social even,

– 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,

– Tracked Data ‘n’ Favorites (‘Media Information’ Group) – Any favorites data or tracked data marked as desirable by users and for users (Means, user is on FB messenger, Viber, bank client or favourite hotel, room type, flight route, airline). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any data like photo, image, video, audio,

– Tracked Data ‘n’ Favorites (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information’ Group) – Any favorites data or tracked data marked as desirable by users and for users (Means, user is on FB messenger, Viber, bank client or favourite hotel, room type, flight route, airline). 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,

– Tracked Data ‘n’ Favorites (‘Social Information’ Group) – Any favorites data or tracked data marked as desirable by users and for users (Means, user is on FB messenger, Viber, bank client or favourite hotel, room type, flight route, airline). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Bookmark Details (‘Social Information’ Group) – Details of bookmarks like date and time, time zone, place, participant’s info, body, linked data. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Access Permissions (‘Social Information’ Group) – The list of permissions linked to access token used to get access to some features of service. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Personalization (‘Personal ‘n’ Private Information’ Group) – Info describes user preferences, favorites, tracked data, search requests, suggestions, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any personal and private info is not grabbed from the 3rd party social networks or your IDs,

– 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 0.00 points (0 points of system protection, 0 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, data ‘as is’ and easily accessed (plaintext, no protection at all) where system protection level means – transferred (or supposed to be) ‘as is’ (plaintext) due to jailbreak/root or preinstalled non-trusted firmware, certificates, etc., and own protection level means – transferred as is, perhaps protection mode turns off or doesn’t exist or info reveal eventually.

– Stream (‘Social Information’ Group) – Any social or another stream activity including posts, walls, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks,

– Media Data (‘Social Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info grabbed from 3rd party social networks

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.