An intent is a message passed between Android application or system components. Applications can register to receive broadcast intents at runtime, which are system-wide intents delivered to each app when certain events happen on the device, such as network changes or the user unlocking the screen. Malicious applications can then trigger certain actions within the app based on which broadcast intent was received.
Further, malicious applications can register for intents broadcasted by other applications in addition to the Android system itself. This allows the malware to respond based on actions in other applications. This behavior typically indicates a more intimate knowledge, or potentially the targeting of specific devices, users, or applications.
In Android 8 (API level 26), broadcast intent behavior was changed, limiting the implicit intents that applications can register for in the manifest. In most cases, applications that register through the manifest will no longer receive the broadcasts. Now, applications must register context-specific broadcast receivers while the user is actively using the app.
FlexiSpy uses root access to establish reboot hooks to re-install the application from
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SimBad registers for the
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In Android 8, broadcast intent behavior was changed, limiting the implicit intents that applications can register for in the manifest.
Broadcast intent receivers are part of standard OS-level APIs and are therefore typically undetectable to the end user.
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