Posts Tagged ‘Malware’
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Why you should always upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Flash Player

by: Gary SimsMay 18, 2012

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 [...]

 
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Number of malicious Android apps grows by 2200% year over year

by: Gary SimsMay 16, 2012

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 [...]

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ESET releases Mobile Security for Android – but are users ready to pay the $10?

by: Gary SimsMay 7, 2012

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 [...]

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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.

DroidKungFu

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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