Security Permissions in Android

As we all know whenever we use a particular feature or API we need to request the permission in AndroidManifest.xml file with uses-permission element. If we don’t specify any permissions, then the application will not have any permission and application can do anything that does not require a permission. This link explains the permissions in android in more detail and this link lists the permissions in Android.

Permissions are granted to the application by package installer while installing. But not all the permissions will be granted to the system. There are some system permission which will not be granted to the user applications, but only to the system applications. Following are some of the permissions that may NOT be granted to the user application.

android.permission.ACCESS_CHECKIN_PROPERTIES
android.permission.ACCESS_SURFACE_FLINGER
android.permission.ACCOUNT_MANAGER
android.permission.BIND_APPWIDGET
android.permission.BIND_DEVICE_ADMIN
android.permission.BIND_INPUT_METHOD
android.permission.BIND_WALLPAPER
android.permission.BRICK
android.permission.BROADCAST_PACKAGE_REMOVED
android.permission.BROADCAST_SMS
android.permission.BROADCAST_WAP_PUSH
android.permission.CALL_PRIVILEGED
android.permission.CHANGE_COMPONENT_ENABLED_STATE
android.permission.CLEAR_APP_USER_DATA
android.permission.CONTROL_LOCATION_UPDATES
android.permission.DELETE_CACHE_FILES
android.permission.DELETE_PACKAGES
android.permission.DEVICE_POWER
android.permission.DIAGNOSTIC
android.permission.FACTORY_TEST
android.permission.FORCE_BACK
android.permission.GLOBAL_SEARCH
android.permission.HARDWARE_TEST
android.permission.INJECT_EVENTS
android.permission.INSTALL_LOCATION_PROVIDER
android.permission.INSTALL_PACKAGES
android.permission.INTERNAL_SYSTEM_WINDOW
android.permission.MANAGE_APP_TOKENS
android.permission.MASTER_CLEAR
android.permission.READ_FRAME_BUFFER
android.permission.READ_INPUT_STATE
android.permission.REBOOT
android.permission.SET_ACTIVITY_WATCHER
android.permission.SET_ORIENTATION
android.permission.SET_PREFERRED_APPLICATIONS
android.permission.SET_TIME
android.permission.STATUS_BAR
android.permission.UPDATE_DEVICE_STATS
android.permission.WRITE_GSERVICES
android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

To get these permissions, the application must be signed with the key which used to sign the platform. This may be different for manufacturers. So it practically not possible to get these permissions granted to a user application.

Note: While playing with PowerManager.reboot I was so stupid I thought my application will be granted the permission android.permission.REBOOT, but it was not granted. Then I created an application requesting all the permissions and above list of permissions are not granted. Hope this will help you when you request a permission next time.

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