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An Obfuscation-Neglect Android Malware Scoring System

Quark-Engine is also bundled with Kali Linux, BlackArch. :shipit: A trust-worthy, practical tool that's ready to boost up your malware reverse engineering.

Quark Web Report

With the following command, you can easily analyze the Android sample and output the web report.

See our demo here.

quark -a sample.apk -s -w quark_report.html

Available In


Why Quark?

Android malware analysis engine is not a new story. Every antivirus company has their own secrets to build it. With curiosity, we develop a malware scoring system from the perspective of Taiwan Criminal Law in an easy but solid way.

We have an order theory of criminal which explains stages of committing a crime. For example, crime of murder consists of five stages, they are determined, conspiracy, preparation, start and practice. The latter the stage the more we’re sure that the crime is practiced.

According to the above principle, we developed our order theory of android malware. We developed five stages to see if the malicious activity is being practiced. They are 1. Permission requested. 2. Native API call. 3. Certain combination of native API. 4. Calling sequence of native API. 5. APIs that handle the same register. We not only define malicious activities and their stages but also develop weights and thresholds for calculating the threat level of a malware.

Malware evolved with new techniques to gain difficulties for reverse engineering. Obfuscation is one of the most commonly used techniques. In this talk, we present a Dalvik bytecode loader with the order theory of android malware to neglect certain cases of obfuscation.

Our Dalvik bytecode loader consists of functionalities such as 1. Finding cross reference and calling sequence of the native API. 2. Tracing the bytecode register. The combination of these functionalities (yes, the order theory) not only can neglect obfuscation but also match perfectly to the design of our malware scoring system.

Easy to Use and Reading Friendly Report

Quark is very easy to use and also provides flexible output formats. There are 6 types of output reports: detail report, call graph, rules classification, summary report, label-based report, behaviors comparison radar chart. Please see below for more details.

Detail Report

This is how we examine a real android malware (candy corn) with one single rule (crime).

$ quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -d

and the report will look like:

There is the possibility to select only one label to filter the rules:

quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -d network

There is also the possibility to select only one rule:

quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -d 00058.json

Call Graph for Every Potential Malicious Activity

You can add the -g option to the quark command, and you can get the call graph (only those rules match with 100% confidence)

quark -a Ahmyth.apk -s -g

Rules Classification

You can add the -c option to the quark command, and you can output the rules classification with the mutual parent function (only those rules match with 100% confidence).

quark -a Ahmyth.apk -s -c

Summary Report

Examine with rules.

quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -s

There is the possibility to select only one label to filter the rules:

quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -s network

There is also the possibility to select only one rule:

quark -a 14d9f1a92dd984d6040cc41ed06e273e.apk -s <path_to_rule_folder>/00058.json

(If you want to select one of the rules of Quark-Rule, the default path to Quark-Rule is $HOME/.quark-engine/quark -rules/.)

Label-based Report

Check which topic (indicated by labels) of the malware is more aggressive.

quark -a Ahmyth.apk -l detailed

Behaviors Comparison Radar Chart

With the following command, you can compare different APK actions based on the max confidence of rule labels and generate a radar chart.

quark -a first.apk -a second.apk -C


Radiocontrast is a Quark API that quickly generates Quark rules from a specified method. It builds up 100% matched rules by using native APIs in that method. The feature lets you easily expose the behavior of a method, just like radiocontrast.

For example, we want to know the behavior of a method called Lahmyth/mine/king/ahmyth/CameraManager;->startUp(I)V, in Ahmyth.apk. Here is the simplest way for Radiocontrast usage:

from quark.radiocontrast import RadioContrast

# The target APK.
APK_PATH = "~/apk-malware-sample/Ahmyth.apk"

# The method that you want to generate rules. 
TARGET_METHOD = "Lahmyth/mine/king/ahmyth/CameraManager;->startUp(I)V"

# The output directory for generated rules.
GENERATED_RULE_DIR = "~/generated_rules"

radiocontrast = RadioContrast(

Web Report

Parallelizing Quark

Now Quark supports multiprocessing for analyzing APKs parallelly. By adding the option --multi-process, you can set the number of processes.

Note: Quark-Engine automatically limits this value to be less than or equal to the number of CPUs - 1. This restriction is done to avoid the CPU from running out of memory.

quark -a Ahmyth.apk -s --multi-process 4

Upcoming unstable feature

Now Quark also supports Rizin as one of our Android analysis frameworks. You can use option --core-library with rizin to enable the Rizin-based analysis library.

quark -a Ahmyth.apk -s --core-library rizin



  • Python 3.8+
  • git
  • graphviz
  • click >= 8.0.1 (For CLI supports)


$ pip3 install -U quark-engine

Get the latest quark rules from our quark-rules repo

Now you can download the quark-rules to your home directory with a simple command.

$ freshquark

Check --help to see the detailed usage description.

$ quark --help

Test It Out

You may refer to the Quark Engine Document for more details of testing and development information.


The Honeynet Project logo

Google Summer Of Code

Quark-Engine has been participating in the GSoC under the Honeynet Project!

Stay tuned for the upcoming GSoC! Join the Honeynet Slack chat for more info.

Core Values of Quark Engine Team

  • We love battle fields. We embrace uncertainties. We challenge impossibles. We rethink everything. We change the way people think. And the most important of all, we benefit ourselves by benefit others first.