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[Problem] Android application believes, that it is installed on a rooted device

asked 2014-02-18 23:16:30 +0300

w32blaster gravatar image

updated 2014-08-12 11:31:42 +0300

eric gravatar image

Hello all,

sometimes we need to get some services through a mobile app, but there is no such native app for the Sailfish OS. For this reason Jolla offers to install Android application on virtual Dalvik vm. And this is very good! But recently I faced with a strange issue: I tried to install the official application of Barclays bank and it said that it won't be installed on a rooted device. I didn't change my Jolla at all, so I have no idea why it shows me that message.

rooted devices are not supported by Barclays bank, Jolla

Does anyone know any workaround? is it possible to somehow solve this issue?


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I would say, from the point of view of such a security critical app like banking app, the Jolla Alien Dalvik is rooted in fact: You have full access to all resources. If the banking app relies on Google that it is not tampered with, it cannot run on Sailfish ... Get Barclays to provide a properly designed app that is secure on its own.

jgr ( 2014-02-19 02:31:05 +0300 )edit

I can understand your need for a work around, but this is more of an app problem than a Sailfish problem. Tell your bank to fix the app. If they don't care, well, there's a lot of banks around.

evk ( 2014-02-19 12:01:39 +0300 )edit

@evk Good point of view ;)

Thank you guys for your answers. It seems, that there is no easy solution for that issue at the moment :(

w32blaster ( 2014-02-19 12:11:37 +0300 )edit

Don't use banking apps on your phone. Most of them are horribly insecure.


Philippe De Swert ( 2014-06-17 14:37:15 +0300 )edit

@Philippe De Swert thanks for the link!

w32blaster ( 2014-06-17 14:49:47 +0300 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2015-02-13 14:59:44 +0300

vitaminj gravatar image

I use the Barclays app successfully. It is detecting root on Jolla because it can find a binary called "su" on the path, which is the native Jolla one that's there by default, but there'll be no such thing on a plain Android device. You can get the app to run by renaming /bin/su and /usr/bin/su to "suu" or something, TEMPORARILY.


(However! In my usage, all the native Jolla apps and the Store seem happy with no su binary available, and system updates when I've forgotten to rename the binaries back also seem to work, but some apps in OpenRepos rely on an su being present in their install/uninstall routines)


(but it does work)


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Perfect!, this worked very well for me with a Foxtel Go app (pay tv in Australia), thanks for the tip!

lancelin2k7 ( 2015-09-09 02:37:24 +0300 )edit

Works for SkyGo too. Actually just renaming su binaries in /opt/alien/bin and /opt/alien/usr/bin did the trick

coley ( 2016-01-07 16:29:47 +0300 )edit

Gosh. SoneraViihde that otherwise would complain of device being rooted plays the vids just nicely now, but StartAsRootFileBrowser from OpenRepos that I used for renaming the files refuses to start up after the renaming, both with /bin and /opt/alien/bin methods. :D

teemu ( 2017-01-09 15:59:33 +0300 )edit

Have anyone tested this workaround in XA2 with latest SailfishX (Hossa)?

My banking app (Op-mobiili) refuses to work with Mobiiliavain because it detects device as rooted. After 20th of May I cannot pay my bills anymore with app if I cannot find any solution.. 😞

HendriXXX ( 2019-05-05 20:24:26 +0300 )edit

@HendriXXX Just tested and no help.

mSorvisto ( 2019-05-23 22:39:30 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-06-16 12:53:51 +0300

darvari gravatar image

I'm not sure, but I think apps under android test if the device is rooted i.e. by using the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission. You could download this permission remover app (http://www.plop.at/de/android/permission-remover.html), which I also use and remove the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE capability.

At least - last night when I played around with an .apk and removed WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE, later the notification just before installing (in german) didn't mention any more developer-capabilites and other stuff, that I think is used to test for a rooted device.

Please try and let me know.

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Doesn't work for me. I removed external storage rights with Advanced Permission Manager from Sonera Viihde app, but it complains about the device being rooted all the same.

teemu ( 2017-01-09 16:18:03 +0300 )edit

Does not help to me too and it is not a bank account. I would have to use two phones, really thinking switching back to android :(.

skkayman ( 2019-05-21 15:13:22 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-02-19 02:32:12 +0300

lubo gravatar image

updated 2014-02-19 02:47:21 +0300

For me latest NatWest app did not start at all, however older NatWest app version is working fine (apart to send a money to someone in my contact list). Maybe this would work for you too. just search for older Barclays apk.

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answered 2015-02-13 22:23:16 +0300

simo gravatar image

updated 2015-02-13 22:26:15 +0300

I don't think it's a good idea to provide workarounds including editing files/folders, tweaking with system, using outdated app versions or using 3rd party unofficial solutions, when the question is about such apps like a banking app. Instead, the comment by @evk below the question is a better way to handle this, if using a banking app is a must.

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Maybe I prefer changing my phone to changing my bank for my reasons. Sorry :-)

jpek-m ( 2016-11-17 10:27:16 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-05-18 12:15:40 +0300

This answer is simple: to enable the fingerprint on natwest app for android and your phone is not rooted go to settings and search for display scaling. from there select standard view and restart phone. this will fix the log in with fingerprint issue.

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Hello, has anyone tried to use TKApp (Health-insurance in Germany)? Does it work after renaming some files? May be it works, when should I use the old file-name? After using the app or after successful installing? Thanks for your help.

chris7chris ( 2018-10-08 10:57:01 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-02-18 23:16:30 +0300

Seen: 9,313 times

Last updated: May 18 '16