UC browser is one of the most famous and widely used browsers over the mobile phone market.
UC Browser and UC browser mini have a combined 600 million play store downloads. UC browser recently downloaded a third party android package kit(APK) which lead to MiTM(Man in The Middle) attacks on UC users. Downloading an APK from a third-party vendor is a direct violation of Google’s app store rules. Google does not allow the distributed apps via Google play to modify, replace, or update themselves using any other method than Google Play’s update mechanism. The rules also forbid the download of executables from a source other than Google Play.
Researchers have discovered three basic issues that surround UC’s activity which include violation of Google play policy, communication over an unsecured channel which may lead to MiTM attacks, and dropping of APK on external storage. Google has already reached out to UC web and asked them to update the apps and remediate the policy violation. UC after using this download started downloading third-party applications on user devices. These applications might target the users and raise a MiTM attack on them.
UC was also using an unsecured communication channel that might provide the attackers with an open door to enter the user system. Using this communication channel attackers can install various malicious payloads and transmit phishing messages to users. UC browser used 9appsdownloading.com for downloading APKs.
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