I was perusing the trending apps, as I often do, looking for something new to review and saw one called Hooked. The name is what grabbed my attention first. Hooked on what? Interested I clicked it found out that it is a game review engine that lets you rate the games that you already have and then makes recommendations based on those ratings.

It seemed like a really cool concept so I installed it right away hoping to have another cool app to suggest  to you all. But then this morning as I started writing I started running into questions that I wanted answered. I looked at the permissions list and it had some that I took issue with.  And then when I wanted to write the developer an email I couldn’t find any contact information. This is a huge red flag by the way. If you come across an app that has a permission that you don’t understand why it is nessesary and then the developer’s contact information is hard to be find, user beware!

It’s not like the app hasn’t been updated or isn’t under current development. According to the page on the market it was just updated on Dec, 2 2011. When I tried to dig up some information on the developer I found that their web page doesn’t exist. Go ahead try the link from the market, it doesn’t work and a Google search for “Hooked Media Group Mobile” only finds the same links that don’t work. (I did find a cached page, so it did exist at one time. There was an email address there and I sent an email and we’ll see what comes of it. Interesting fact about the cached page is it was last saved Nov 30, 2011.) I don’t know why Hooked Media Group Mobile has either deleted their page or moved it without updating the market link but they have. So I’m going to suggest that for now we steer clear of this app. Seems malicious. Obviously I don’t have proof but suspicious activity is reason enough for me. I’m already upset with myself for not reading the permissions before installing.

These are the permissions that I’m morally opposed to. If the app was from a reputable developer like EA Games, Game Loft, or Glu the “Read Phone State and Identity” doesn’t bother me as much because they use the IMEI number to track purchases in game and make sure you have a valid copy.  I’m not sure why any game would need to “Read Contact Data.” Seems like malware all the way. The permission even warns us of it… Why didn’t I read these? Ugh!

YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

READ CONTACT DATA
Allows an application to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your device. Malicious applications can use this to send your data to other people.
PHONE CALLS

READ PHONE STATE AND IDENTITY
Allows the application to access the phone features of the device. An application with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
I’m still looking for something that has a similar functionality to Hooked. I think AppBrain might be it. I’ll have to give that one a try again. (Haven’t used it since G1 days, but have heard good things.)

3 Responses

  1. Jordan

    The contact permisson is for finding your friends who use the app. Your phone identity is so the service can identify you.

    These permissions are justified just fine.

    Reply
  2. Tom Snow

    Update coming. The Developer has changed the permissions. Also their contact info is now easier to find.

    Reply

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