Scanning Android Package Files (APKs) with Metadefender Cloud

Kaspersky Lab and Interpol's recently released Mobile Cyber Threat Report shows a significant increase in the number of cyber-attacks targeting Android users, highlighting the need for successful anti-malware solutions for the Android OS. Because Android applications are distributed via Android package files (APKs), compressed files that contain all of the files in a given app, special care must be taken when scanning them for malware.

When APKs are scanned with MetaDefender Cloud, the files will be treated as archives, meaning that they will be extracted so that each individual file can be scanned, as well as scanning the unextracted APK file as a whole. This allows malicious APK files to be detected by the multiple antivirus engines in MetaDefender Cloud, both when the entire APK is in the AV engine's virus definition database as well as when malicious files are hidden within the archive.

For an example of how these results will be displayed in MetaDefender Cloud, please take a look at the results of our sample APK anti-malware scan. You will notice that both the original file, as well as individual files within the archive, are detected as threats by different sets of engines. A side-by-side comparison of scan results for the extracted and unextracted files is available, as well as the list and summary of all extracted files excerpted below:


Click to view and compare full extracted and unextracted scan results

Please note that APK files containing more than the maximum number of files allowed for archives (currently 50) will receive an error message when scanned with MetaDefender Cloud.

Some APK files that were scanned with MetaDefender Cloud before our APK file handling was enhanced may not show the results for the individual files that were scanned in the cached results (view sample). In this case, to see the detailed scan results please click on the 'Rescan' button and the APK file will be extracted and scanned again.

Sign up for Blog updates

Get information and insight from the leaders in advanced threat prevention.