Posts Tagged ‘Malware’
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Compromised websites used to serve drive-by Android malware

by: Gary SimsMay 3, 2012

In a new twist in the malware for Android story, the mobile security company Lookout has released details of a new Android malware which automatically starts downloading to the victim’s device when they visit an infected web page. Known as a “drive-by download” the malware app starts to download without the user’s permission and because it claims to be a system update it is likely that unsuspecting users will happily install it.

For a website to serve up the NotCompatible malware, as it has been dubbed,  it needs to have been previously compromised by a hacker who adds some HTML to the website (specifically an iframe  pointing to [...]

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5,000 new malicious Android apps found in first 3 months of 2012

by: Gary SimsApril 20, 2012

At the end of last year, security pundits predicted that 2012 would see a continued raise in the number of malicious Android apps and it looks like those predictions are coming true. According to Trend Micro, over 5,000 new malicious Android apps were found in first three months of 2012.

This really isn’t as shocking as it sounds, as Android usage is increasing, with more people using their phones or tablets to surf the web. As such, cyber criminals are increasing their efforts to target this huge Android user base.

“One big reason for the popularity of apps is their ease of use. Browsing the net on your mobile phone is [...]

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Beware of fake Instagram app that contains malware

by: Gary SimsApril 19, 2012

Instagram has been in the news a lot recently. It launched on Android only a few weeks ago and enjoyed over 1 million downloads on its first day on Google Play. Then Facebook decided to buy the 13 person company for $1 billion! Naturally, the Facebook purchase rocketed the app to even greater popularity with the  acquisition being covered by the mainstream media.

When a cyber criminal sees something popular, especially on a mobile device, it becomes a very tempting target and Instagram has been no different. A Russian group has created a fake Instagram web site which offers downloads of the app directly from the site (rather than from Google Play) and, in doing so, is [...]

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Google removes 29 data stealing apps from Google Play

by: Gary SimsApril 17, 2012

In its ongoing battle with malicious app writers, Google has removed 29 apps from Google Play that harvested email addresses and phone numbers and uploaded them to remote command servers. Symantec has so far identified 29 apps that targeted the Japanese market. All of the 29 apps share common code and it is believed that one group is behind all of the apps.

The first app in the series appeared in Google Play in early February and was followed by a series of seemingly random apps, from a contact management app to a diet assistant app. However, the apps proved unpopular and did not receive many downloads. Then, in late March, a group of apps with titles all ending in “the [...]

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Beware of new Android malware claiming to be system upgrade

by: Gary SimsApril 12, 2012

New malware, which targets Android users with the offer of a system upgrade, has been discovered. UpdtBot (Update Bot), as it is known, spreads via SMS messages but is really a malicious app which allows the device to be controlled by a remote Command and Control (C&C) server to send text messages, make phone calls, and download and install apps.

The unsuspecting victims receive a SMS message which tells them that their system is at risk and they should install the latest Android update. But the link provided isn’t for a new firmware update but in fact for a malicious app. The problem with text messages is that they are very common place and have a high read rate [...]

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More devious Android malware discovered

by: Gary SimsApril 9, 2012

Two recent bits of research have unearthed some nasty malware that target Android devices. The first is a variant of the DroidKungFu malware which uses known Android exploits to root the victim’s device and install itself without the user knowing. The second, known as TigerBot, differs from “traditional” malware in that it is controlled via SMS rather than from a command & control (C&C) server on the Internet. Both pieces of malware are most prevalent on alternative markets, which again underlines the need for caution when going outside of Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.


Discovered in the middle of last year, the original [...]

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3 ways your Android phone is vulnerable to hackers and how to defend yourself

by: Gary SimsMarch 23, 2012

The increasing pervasiveness of mobile devices means that they are being actively targeted by cyber criminals and malware writers. Security companies are seeing lots of activity in this area, and Android is firmly fixed as the largest target of malware peddlers. The result is that Android phones are vulnerable to attack, but nevertheless, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Most Android vulnerabilities can be managed and attacks avoided.

Here is a list of three ways your Android phone is vulnerable and what you can do about it.

1. Text Messaging

Text messages are ubiquitous and have a high read rate among users. They also have a high trust factor, with [...]

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Android malware steals bank credentials – Is mobile banking safe?

by: Ankit BanerjeeMarch 17, 2012


Mobile banking has been steadily gaining popularity, as more and more consumers get access to smartphones with internet capabilities. Today, almost every major financial institution in the world provides their account holders with easy-to-use net and mobile banking systems. But, as with every other good thing out there, malicious intent is never far around the corner. Security concerns related to the use of mobile banking applications have been recently brought to the forefront. The latest Android malware found in the wild is proving to be one of the most dangerous.

A new piece of malware was discovered by security researchers at [...]

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Worried about your privacy? New ad-network detectors surface in Play Store

by: Mike AndriciMarch 14, 2012

Ads integrated into free Android apps are a necessary evil, as app developers need to live off something after all, even if they do offer the fruits of their labor for free on Google Play Store. At the opposite pole of an imaginary moral compass are the ads that show up in any other place than the app itself (such as ads in the notification bar, or even unwanted ad-related icons on the home screen), and ads that access your personal information to provide targeting information to advertisers.

Surprisingly, up until a couple of weeks ago, Android users who were looking for a way to stop ads from taking over control of their Android device, without installing an Android [...]

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Report Uncovers Fake Android AntiVirus Apps

by: Mike AndriciMarch 6, 2012

A month ago, we were unpleasantly surprised to learn that a report from Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center showed a 3,325 percent increase in Android malware over 2011. According to the report, Android malware samples increased from 11,138 in 2010 to 28,472 in 2011. And if that wasn’t enough bad news for you, a recent report from digital security firm F-Secure shows how Android malware is now dominating the mobile malware scene, as it overtook both Symbian malware and Pocket PC malware.

As malware popped out, we’ve seen the Android Market being populated with more and more anti-malware apps, up to the point where “uneducated” Android [...]

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