Making your smartphone “smarter” also means granting it permission to do certain things. Some apps collect usage statistics, for example, and others read your e-mails and messages. That’s not really a problem when you’ve downloaded your app from a trusted developer, but what happens when you’ve been bitten by the app bug and you go on an app downloading spree?
Not every app on the Google Play store is safe, and some of them could be collecting all sorts of information from your device for some nefarious and dastardly end. Some discriminating device users will avoid apps that ask for access to too many permissions, but what about the [...]
In February of this year, Google revealed some details of a new malware scanner which it had been developing during the latter half of 2011. Dubbed “the Bouncer”, the automated service runs each app submitted to Google Play to see if it has any malicious intentions. According to Google’s initial figures, the Bouncer has been responsible for a 40% drop in malicious apps available in Google Play.
However, this week security researchers Jon Oberheide and Charlie Miller will present a new method they have developed which allows them to bypass the Bouncer and successfully submit malware to Google Play.
As with real world spies and secret agents, the key to [...]
Mobile device usage continues to climb and companies like Google and Facebook are working hard to cash in on the potential revenues available from mobile users. But they aren’t the only ones trying to make money from mobiles. Cyber criminals, organized crime gangs and malware authors are also trying to get a slice of the pie. As an Android user, it is important to step back a moment and look at the security implications of using a mobile device, and more specifically of using an Android based mobile device.Physical access
Before looking at all the sophisticated ways hackers can try and steal data off your mobile phone, it is [...]
UPDATE: We have an updated Best Android antivirus app list, click here to see.
With startling headlines like “Number of malicious Android apps grows by 2200% year over year” and “86% of all malware delivered via repackaging of legitimate apps” it is worth looking at what measures you can take to protect yourself from malware. Besides common sense items like not downloading apps from an untrusted app store or not installing apps which ask for odd permissions (like a game wanting SMS permissions), there is the option of installing an anti-virus app for your device. There are quite a few big [...]
Unsuspecting victims of fake versions of Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed and Cut the Rope, posted on third party Android app stores, will be getting their money back, after the UK phone regulator PhonepayPlus took action against the premium rate number provider, A1 Agregator Limited.
The fake apps contained malware which charged vicitm’s £15 ($23) every time one of the apps was opened. The malware did this by sending three £5 premium rate texts. Once they were sent, the malware hid the sent and received messages that would normally notify the user that the text incurred a charge. The first time victims would know about the scam was when they received their [...]
The Department of Computer Science at the North Carolina State University has started the Android Malware Genome Project in an attempt to dissect Android based malware and see what makes it tick. The researchers are working with a collection of some 1,200 examples of Android malware, including the very first Trojans found in August 2010.
The team has started to systematically analyze the malware and create a database of the varying characteristics, including how the malware gets installed, how it is activated, and the nature of the malicious payloads. Not surprisingly, one “discovery” made by the team is that malware is “evolving rapidly to circumvent the [...]
It is likely that you have some Adobe software installed on your PC or Mac. It could be Adobe Acrobat Reader, it could be Adobe Air, or it could be Adobe Flash Player.
Flash is so popular that Google ships it as a built-in plugin for its Chrome web browser. It is also likely that you have some Adobe software on your Android device, and it would be one (or all) of the same three listed above. All very nice – you can view PDF files on your PC and on your mobile device, you can use Flash on your PC and on your Android phone. But there is a price to pay for all this lovely integration – security. Adobe software is one of the hottest targets for hackers and malware [...]
You might be asking yourself if you read the headline to this post correctly. A 2200% growth in the number of malicious Android apps, can that be right? Unfortunately it is. According to the Mobile Threat Report Q1 2012 (PDF) released by security company F-Secure, the number of malicious Android application package files (APKs) they received in the first three months of the year grew from 139 in 2011 to 3063 for the same period in 2012. Similarly, in 2011 security researchers discovered 10 new families of Android malware. Move forward twelve months, and that number has grown nearly four-fold with 37 new families and variants discovered in Q1 2012.
So why the growth? For one [...]
ESET has released a new security product for Android that includes anti-malware protection, SMS/MMS antispam, call blocking, and anti-theft features, to help you locate or block your device if it becomes lost or gets stolen. Sounds impressive, but there is a small problem – the price. The app costs $9.99, which is a lot for a mobile app. However there is a 30 day trial so you can try the app before parting with your money!
The anti-theft features, which are reminiscent of Apple’s “Find My iPhone” service, are comprehensive, including support for SMS commands that can be sent to your mobile to lock the device or wipe it completely. There are also GPS [...]
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 [...]