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New ‘NSA’ App Designed to Expose Android Apps’ Secret Web Visits

6/05/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


French researchers have built a new Android app designed to monitor the network activity of other applications on their device, in order to minimize resource usage and the risk of infection.

A team at Eurecom explained the research that led to the development of NSA (NoSuchApp) in a new paper.

It works as a local proxy, emulating a man-in-the-middle for SSL traffic, which it can then monitor and check against known ad-related, tracking and suspicious domains, they said.

The team tested just over 2000 Android apps from the top 25 categories in Google Play and monitored their activity.

They were shocked to find that 1710 of these apps (with traffic activity) connected to a staggering 250,000 URLs across 1985 top level domains, while around 10% connected to more than 500 URLs.

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