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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]