Users report that app requests root access

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Users report that app requests root access

Postby Aseriesofsmallprojects » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:35 pm

I have had a number of users report that my app is requesting root access (or su privileges). I don't have details from these users, just a few bad reviews on Amazon and one response to a survey I did (which I didn't get emails from, oops). I know that I didn't ask for root access, so there are a few possibilities that I'm trying to track down:

1. Users have malware on their device, which is asking for the root access.
2. Users misunderstand the standard permissions that the app asks for.
3. Amazon did something funky to my apk when they repackaged it
4. Some of the banner ads I served by AdMob or MobClix are of the scamware variety
5. Users mistake the text tips in my app for trying to get root (my app shows tips for droid users, and some of the tips indicate that root access is required to do certain things).

Any thoughts? Has anyone else experienced this? Any help would be welcome.

I installed my app (Droid Secret Tips) from Amazon Appstore myself and haven't seen any of this behavior, but that only addresses #3. It's hard to measure user perception and harder to track down banner ads which can vary by the minute.
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Re: Users report that app requests root access

Postby AedonEtLIRA » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:01 pm

I downloaded your app and didn't see anything that would cause a 'su' request. I think it was just a misunderstanding from the users. I wouldn't worry about until it's either happening en masse or you actually get correspondence indicating a cause.
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Re: Users report that app requests root access

Postby AedonEtLIRA » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:02 pm

As a hind thought, whats the percentage of "a number of users"?
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Re: Users report that app requests root access

Postby Aseriesofsmallprojects » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:03 am

Thanks for the response.

Four out of the fifteen reviews on Amazon complain about root access. One seems to be in reference to text in the app, while others are either confused or purposefully being spiteful. A few of them have no reviews for anything else so they may not be on the up and up.

This is out of at least 30k total downloads, so while it's not en masse, it is somewhat prominent for the Amazon reviews. I suspect this may be par for the course since Amazon requires 25 words to review and Google allows two button presses to just select a star rating. Grumpy users are more likely to have 25 words to use...
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Re: Users report that app requests root access

Postby AedonEtLIRA » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:50 pm

Ya I wouldn't be too worried about it then. I thought on it a little, It may be that the 4 user that complain have rooted phones, and something in the background is requesting root. Will likely never no for sure, but that's my best guess.
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