This article is about the Android app. Not to be confused with Patch (computing).
Lucky Patcher is a hacking application and PUP designed for Android devices, designed to patch applications to be able to remove ads or license verification, redirect billing to get items or subscriptions for free, create custom patches or create modified APKs with or without root access.
Lucky Patcher analyzes the list of installed apps on the user's device and indicates the actions the user can carry out, including the ability to remove the license verification included on many apps that requires them to be downloaded from Google Play to work; modify the associated permissions; extract apps' data or the APK file to do backups; and other illicit actions like removing Google Ads, unlocking paid apps to be able to install them on other devices. It is recognized as malware by Google Play Protect and a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) by Malwarebytes, likely because it allows users to make patches to the Android system or delete it in addition to being illegal. It is popularly used for hacking games as it can allow users to gain the items from in-app purchases for free.
Several options are available in a slider at the bottom of the screen, which include the “switches”, for enabling or disabling some of the features of Lucky Patcher, the Toolbox (features listed below), “Search”, to search the list of apps, “Backups”, to show apps backed up with Lucky Patcher, “Rebuild and Install”, which browses the Lucky Patcher directory to find modified .apk files, and “Options Menu”, which opens a small list of options allowing the user to view and download custom patches for apps, view the settings, troubleshooting or About menus.
Although the app does not require root access for basic functionality, more features are unlocked if the user has root access. Lucky Patcher also claims that it needs root access in order to work, despite still working perfectly fine without it.
If users have superuser access, on clicking an application inside Lucky Patcher nine options can be selected:
- “App info”, which opens specific information about the app inside Lucky Patcher, including the package name, permissions and more.
- “Launch App”, which simply launches the selected app.
- ”Close application”, which will stop the app running in the background until reopened.
- ”Menu of Patches”, which opens a selection of what the user can use to patch the app.
- ”Tools”, opening a popup window that allows the user to clone the app, disable it, use it as a system app, backup the app, ODEX it, reinstall it or share it.
- ”Uninstall App”, which will delete the app along with any data.
- ”Clear Data”, which will clear all data saved from the app.
- ”Move to /sdcard” (if the application is in the internal memory) or “Move to internal memory”, which will move the app to the respective location.
- ”Manage the app”, which will open the Android application info for that app.
With root access, Lucky Patcher allows users to access more features in the ‘Toolbox‘ which include:
- Being able to perform several batch operations:
- Select apps to extract and backup .apk files.
- Select apps to move to the external storage or SD card.
- Select apps to move to the internal or emulated storage.
- Select apps to uninstall.
- Select apps to disable.
- Select apps to enable.
- Select apps to integrate update to the /system folder.
- To view apps in the bootlist (that will begin on the device booting up)
- Methods of universally removing ads across the device without having to individually patch apps:
- Turning off the Google Ads service, which has the disadvantage of sometimes resetting the Google Advertising ID.
- Blocking ads on device, which attempts to completely remove ads across the device.
- Unblock ads on device, to reverse the above patch.
- Clear the local ‘hosts’ file.
- Remove all saved purchases, to remove any purchases that were done illegally by Lucky Patcher.
- Directory Binder
- ’Patch to Android’, which allows the user to apply several patches to the Android operating system:
- ”Signature verification Status always True”, necessary for the InAPP and LVL emulation for hacking in-app purchases.
- “Disable .apk Signature Verification”, allows the modification of an application without creating a new signature, so that the developer's signature will remain.
- ”Disable signature verification in the package manager“, for allowing the installation of older versions of applications on top of the one already installed.
- ”Remove all patches from core.jar”
- “Remove all patches from services.jar”
- To install and test the modified Google Play Store, allowing for users to be able to universally use the Lucky Patcher billing across all apps without having to individually patch them.
- To ODEX all system apps, allowing for more free space on the internal storage.
- To Remove all ODEX files.
- To clear the dalvik-cache and reboot.
- To Select the default install location for new apps.
- To simply reboot.
If the user does not have root access or has not granted access to Lucky Patcher, there are only two methods available for attempting to hack the application:
- Recompiling the target application with the support patch for InApp and LVL emulation and reinstalling it. The user must enable the switches ”Google Billing Emulation” and “Proxy server for Support Patch to InApp and LVL emulation”.
- The method used in CreeHack, enabling the switch “Mirror of original InApp of service for emulation of purchases”. This method only works on older apps or older versions of apps, due to this method being very old.
When the user grants superuser access to Lucky Patcher, the methods that Lucky Patcher offers for hacking or emulating in-app purchases include:
- Applying a patch to the Android operating system 'Signature verification always True', and then installing a modified version of the Google Play Store which redirects all purchases to Lucky Patcher, automatically allowing the user to attempt to purchase items in apps without having to patch them individually. According to the app, this is the most effective and desirable method.
- Applying the patch to the Android operating system 'Signature verification always True', and then enabling a proxy server for Google Play, which redirects all purchases to Lucky Patcher, automatically allowing the user to attempt to purchase items in apps without having to patch them individually. This method has the disadvantage that the Google Play Store will not be available until the proxy server is turned off, and if it is turned off all the purchases made will be reset.
- A module in the program Xposed which redirects all purchases to Lucky Patcher, automatically allowing the user to attempt to purchase items in apps without having to patch them individually.
- Applying a patch to the app wanted to be hacked 'Support Patch for InApp and LVL emulation' and enabling the switches 'Proxy server for support patch to InApp and LVL emulation'.
When the user attempts to complete a purchase in an application that was patched with Lucky Patcher or when they have installed the modified Play Store or enabled the proxy server, a purchase window will appear from Lucky Patcher, showing three options that the user can select:
- Send response unsigned - sends false data about the purchase to the application. According to the app, users with root privileges should not use this method as it may not work.
- Save to restore purchases - Saves the purchase information to Lucky Patcher and attempts to ensure that the purchase will remain the next time the app is launched, as sometimes applications will revert the purchases after being closed.
- Autopurchase with current settings - saves the current purchase settings and automatically purchases the item upon pressing the purchase button and will not show the Lucky Patcher dialogue.
The Lucky Patcher purchase window will also contain some information about how it works and how to deactivate the automatic purchase.
Due to Lucky Patcher's popularity, many unofficial websites offer downloads of Lucky Patcher that may contain ads or viruses. The official website can be found at luckypatchers (dot) com.
In April 2019, 'chelpus (dot) co', a fake site claiming to be the original site, filed several complaints against other clones and the official site. They were accepted by Google causing the official site to be removed from the search page.
It can be easily identified as a clone site due to it having an old version of Lucky Patcher as the 'Latest Version'.
The developers of Lucky Patcher recently designed an installer which can be downloaded from the same page.
It allows the user to download custom patches for apps as well as downloading and installing Lucky Patcher itself, in the hopes of circumventing antivirus software which blocks the regular installation of Lucky Patcher.
The old method of circumventing antivirus software for Lucky Patcher was simply to compress the .apk file into a .zip but antiviruses began to detect it.
AhnLab-V3Z - Android-AppCare/LuckyPatcher.7cb8f
Jiangmin - Trojan.AndroidOS.dav
Symantec - AdLibrary:Generisk
Trustlook - Android.Malware.General (score:9)
Sophos AV - Android Lucky Patcher (PUA)
Babable - PUP.HighConfidence
K7GW - Trojan ( 00533df21 )
MaxSecure - Virus.RiskTool.AndroidOS.SMSreg.pf
Trivia and other information
- Lucky Patcher along with almost every similar hacking application that gets free purchases is based on the original billing hack by Dominik Schürmann.
- The logo is a smiley face with black eyes and a smile on a yellow face, however, the launcher icon can be changed to a few other icons inside the app's settings.
- It is recognized as malware by Google Play Protect and a PUP by Malwarebytes, likely because it allows users to make patches to the Android system or delete it in addition to being illegal.
- It is popularly used for hacking games as it can allow users to gain the items from in-app purchases for free.
Lucky Patcher is not the only app for hacking the in-app purchases of Android apps. There are many other alternatives to it too, although some of them require root or use old methods that have been patched in most apps. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Leo Playcard (based on CreeHack)
- AppSara (based on CreeHack)
- URET Patcher (made by Jaspreet Singh (Jasi2169), former developer of Lucky Patcher. URET Patcher was succeeded by Jasi Patcher.)
- Jasi Patcher (made by Jaspreet Singh (Jasi2169), former developer of Lucky Patcher)