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Android App dev's defense of app flagged as malware

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I have been interested in understanding how attacks work to better defend myself so I downloaded an app called 'spyboy' which I immediately scanned with Malwarebytes. It was immediately flagged as malware so naturally I got rid of it and left a negative review in an attempt to warn people.

They responded which I posted a pic of but will put it in text as well.

Developer response:
Hello sir,
We have mentioned this inside app kindly read it.Only because of our packages name some of the antivirus(Malwarebytes) claim app as a pup.hactool, but we assure you app doesn't contain any type of virus,you can try yourself take our app package name and create a blank app using Android studio and scan it, it will claim your app as virus.

Now I am willing to accept and correct any errors on my part but I find it suspicious that they are telling me I need to run the app to be told it is safe.  Not only this but I do not recall reading that it includes any tools. It is supposed to be just tutorials however I did skim over the description and may have missed it.

Given my limited knowledge on this subject I would like to hear from others on this. Is this really a false flag by Malwarebytes or are they just trying to defend themselves? I should mention that I read another review claiming a different Anti-Virus program had also displayed warnings.



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  • Staff

Hi @Lucas576,

PUP/HackTool.Spyboy is an interesting one.  We detect it because it links to a blog which contains downloadable hacktools/spyware, and older versions contained direct links to these as well.  Further evidence of detection, the blog has topics such as “how to create your own free ransomware”.  Not exactly something we encourage.

Please be aware that PUP (https://blog.malwarebytes.com/threats/mobile-pup/) is NOT malware, and is at your discretion to ignore.  We understand that the app/blog is for the purpose of ethical hacking, but it is our stance that users should be informed to exactly what the app could entail.  Considering the author himself wrote a disclaimer for his app; our detection is just a further notification.




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