Really interesting discovery. Compatibility in the Android ecosystem is a nightmare that requires you to build a standard library vacuumn.
There are a few reasons you may want to do this, but I think the most likely is for crash reporting & stability/compatibility testing. This allows Facebook to sweep the broad Android ecosystem to find edge cases. Interesting tool; I personally am not familiar w/ others like it.
Depending on when this appeared, it may also be a supporting component to maintaining the integrity of Facebook's end-to-end encryption platform that will roll-out with the centralization. We may be looking at the frontend of an impressive malware & vulnerability sweeper.
If we remember back to the flatmap-stream trojan horse, an attacker compromised a deep NPM dependency that became embedded across the ecosystem, & specifically targeted Copay's infrastructure to hijack Bitcoin wallets. It made it all the way into RN on iOS https://blog.npmjs.org/post/180565383195/details-about-the-event-stream-incident …
This could support many different missions at Facebook. I don't view it as something harmful; the flaws here are truly Androids, & Facebook is working w/ the tools. We may be looking at an effort by Facebook to protect the integrity of Libra & the E2E platform. I like what I see.
Android also just faced a massive attack through yet another trojan buried in an advertising library used by a very popular app, CamScanner. We don't see many attacks at the system library level, but we will when crypto is mainstream w/ a huge incentive. https://securelist.com/dropper-in-google-play/92496/ …
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