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Sneaky DogeRAT Trojan Poses as Popular Apps, Targets Indian Android Users

Sneaky DogeRAT Trojan Poses as Popular Apps, Targets Indian Android Users

May 30, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
A new open source remote access trojan (RAT) called  DogeRAT  targets Android users primarily located in India as part of a sophisticated malware campaign. The malware is distributed via social media and messaging platforms under the guise of legitimate applications like Opera Mini, OpenAI ChatGPT, and Premium versions of YouTube, Netflix, and Instagram. "Once installed on a victim's device, the malware gains unauthorized access to sensitive data, including contacts, messages, and banking credentials," cybersecurity firm CloudSEK  said  in a Monday report. "It can also take control of the infected device, enabling malicious actions such as sending spam messages, making unauthorized payments, modifying files, and even remotely capturing photos through the device's cameras." DogeRAT, like many other malware-as-a-service ( MaaS ) offerings, is promoted by its India-based developer through a Telegram channel that has more than 2,100 subscribers since it wa
Predator Android Spyware: Researchers Uncover New Data Theft Capabilities

Predator Android Spyware: Researchers Uncover New Data Theft Capabilities

May 26, 2023 Spyware / Cyber Attack
Security researchers have detailed the inner workings of the commercial Android spyware called Predator, which is marketed by the Israeli company Intellexa (previously Cytrox). Predator was  first documented  by Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) in May 2022 as part of attacks leveraging five different zero-day flaws in the Chrome web browser and Android. The spyware, which is delivered by means of another loader component known as Alien, is equipped to record audio from phone calls and VoIP-based apps as well as gather contacts and messages, including from Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Its other functionalities allow it to hide applications and prevent applications from being executed upon rebooting the handset. "A deep dive into both spyware components indicates that Alien is more than just a loader for Predator and actively sets up the low-level capabilities needed for Predator to spy on its victims," Cisco Talos  said  in a technical report. Spyware like Pre
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Data Stealing Malware Discovered in Popular Android Screen Recorder App

Data Stealing Malware Discovered in Popular Android Screen Recorder App

May 24, 2023 Mobile Security / Data Safety
Google has removed a screen recording app named "iRecorder - Screen Recorder" from the Play Store after it was found to sneak in information stealing capabilities nearly a year after the app was published as an innocuous app. The app (APK package name "com.tsoft.app.iscreenrecorder"), which accrued over 50,000 installations, was first uploaded on September 19, 2021. The malicious functionality is believed to have been introduced in version 1.3.8, which was released on August 24, 2022. "It is rare for a developer to upload a legitimate app, wait almost a year, and then update it with malicious code," ESET security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said  in a technical report. "The malicious code that was added to the clean version of iRecorder is based on the open source  AhMyth  Android RAT (remote access trojan) and has been customized into what we named AhRat." iRecorder was  first flagged  as harboring the AhMyth trojan on October 28, 2022, by
This Cybercrime Syndicate Pre-Infected Over 8.9 Million Android Phones Worldwide

This Cybercrime Syndicate Pre-Infected Over 8.9 Million Android Phones Worldwide

May 18, 2023 Mobile Security / Cyber Crime
A cybercrime enterprise known as  Lemon Group  is leveraging millions of pre-infected Android smartphones worldwide to carry out their malicious operations, posing significant supply chain risks. "The infection turns these devices into mobile proxies, tools for stealing and selling SMS messages, social media and online messaging accounts and monetization via advertisements and click fraud," cybersecurity firm Trend Micro  said . The activity encompasses no fewer than 8.9 million compromised Android devices, particularly budget phones, with the highest concentration of the infections discovered in the U.S., Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, South Africa, India, Angola, the Philippines, and Argentina. The findings were  presented  by researchers Fyodor Yarochkin, Zhengyu Dong, Vladimir Kropotov, and Paul Pajares at the Black Hat Asia conference held in Singapore last week. Describing it as a  continuously evolving problem , the cybersecurity firm said the threat actors
OilAlpha: Emerging Houthi-linked Cyber Threat Targets Arabian Android Users

OilAlpha: Emerging Houthi-linked Cyber Threat Targets Arabian Android Users

May 17, 2023 Cyber Threat / Mobile Security
A hacking group dubbed  OilAlpha  with suspected ties to Yemen's  Houthi movement  has been linked to a cyber espionage campaign targeting development, humanitarian, media, and non-governmental organizations in the Arabian peninsula. "OilAlpha used encrypted chat messengers like WhatsApp to launch social engineering attacks against its targets," cybersecurity company Recorded Future  said  in a technical report published Tuesday. "It has also used URL link shorteners. Per victimology assessment, it appears a majority of the targeted entities were Arabic-language speakers and operated Android devices." OilAlpha is the new cryptonym given by Recorded Future to two overlapping clusters previously tracked by the company under the names TAG-41 and TAG-62 since April 2022. TAG-XX (short for Threat Activity Group) is the temporary moniker assigned to emerging threat groups. The assessment that the adversary is acting in the interest of the Houthi movement is base
Google Announces New Privacy, Safety, and Security Features Across Its Services

Google Announces New Privacy, Safety, and Security Features Across Its Services

May 10, 2023 Privacy / Safety / Security
Google unveiled a slew of new privacy, safety, and security features today at its annual developer conference, Google I/O. The tech giant's latest initiatives are aimed at protecting its users from cyber threats, including phishing attacks and malicious websites, while providing more control and transparency over their personal data. Here is a short list of the newly introduced features - Improved data control and transparency Gmail Dark Web Scan Report Effortlessly Delete Maps Search History AI-Powered Safe Browsing Content Safety API Expansion About this Image Spam View in Google Drive Among the newly introduced features, the first on the list is improved data control and transparency. Google has unveiled an update for its Android operating system that allows users to better control location sharing through apps installed on their devices. "Starting with location data, you will be informed in permission requests when an app shares your information with third-pa
New Android Malware 'FluHorse' Targeting East Asian Markets with Deceptive Tactics

New Android Malware 'FluHorse' Targeting East Asian Markets with Deceptive Tactics

May 05, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
Various sectors in East Asian markets have been subjected to a new email phishing campaign that distributes a previously undocumented strain of Android malware called  FluHorse  that abuses the Flutter software development framework. "The malware features several malicious Android applications that mimic legitimate applications, most of which have more than 1,000,000 installs," Check Point  said  in a technical report. "These malicious apps steal the victims' credentials and two-factor authentication (2FA) codes." The malicious apps have been found to imitate popular apps like ETC and VPBank Neo, which are widely used in Taiwan and Vietnam. Evidence gathered so far shows that the activity has been active since at least May 2022.  The phishing scheme in itself is fairly straightforward, wherein victims are lured with emails that contain links to a bogus website that hosts malicious APK files. Also added to the website are checks that aim to screen victims an
Fleckpe Android Malware Sneaks onto Google Play Store with Over 620,000 Downloads

Fleckpe Android Malware Sneaks onto Google Play Store with Over 620,000 Downloads

May 05, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
A new Android subscription malware named  Fleckpe  has been unearthed on the Google Play Store, amassing more than 620,000 downloads in total since 2022. Kaspersky, which identified 11 apps on the official app storefront, said the malware masqueraded as legitimate photo editing apps, camera, and smartphone wallpaper packs. The apps have since been taken down. The operation primarily targets users from Thailand, although telemetry data gathered by the Russian cybersecurity firm has revealed victims in Poland, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. The apps further offer the promised functionality to avoid raising red flags, but conceal their real purpose under the hood. The list of the offending apps is as follows - Beauty Camera Plus (com.beauty.camera.plus.photoeditor) Beauty Photo Camera (com.apps.camera.photos) Beauty Slimming Photo Editor (com.beauty.slimming.pro) Fingertip Graffiti (com.draw.graffiti) GIF Camera Editor (com.gif.camera.editor) HD 4K Wallpaper (com.hd.h4ks.
BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups

BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups

May 02, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
A new Android surveillanceware possibly used by the Iranian government has been used to spy on over 300 individuals belonging to minority groups. The malware, dubbed  BouldSpy , has been attributed with moderate confidence to the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( FARAJA ). Targeted victims include Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, and Armenian Christian groups. "The spyware may also have been used in efforts to counter and monitor illegal trafficking activity related to arms, drugs, and alcohol," Lookout  said , based on exfiltrated data that contained photos of drugs, firearms, and official documents issued by FARAJA.  BouldSpy, like other Android malware families, abuses its access to Android's accessibility services and other intrusive permissions to harvest sensitive data such as web browser history, photos, contact lists, SMS logs, keystrokes, screenshots, clipboard content, microphone audio, and video call recordings. It's worth poin
Google Blocks 1.43 Million Malicious Apps, Bans 173,000 Bad Accounts in 2022

Google Blocks 1.43 Million Malicious Apps, Bans 173,000 Bad Accounts in 2022

May 01, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
Google disclosed that its improved security features and app review processes helped it block 1.43 million bad apps from being published to the Play Store in 2022. In addition, the company said it banned 173,000 bad accounts and fended off over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions through  developer-facing features  like Voided Purchases API, Obfuscated Account ID, and Play Integrity API. The addition of identity verification methods such as phone number and email address to join Google Play contributed to a reduction in accounts used to publish apps that go against its policies, Google pointed out. The search behemoth further said it "prevented about 500K submitted apps from unnecessarily accessing sensitive permissions over the past 3 years." "In 2022, the  App Security Improvements program  helped developers fix ~500K security weaknesses affecting ~300K apps with a combined install base of approximately 250B installs," it  noted . In contrast,
Goldoson Android Malware Infects Over 100 Million Google Play Store Downloads

Goldoson Android Malware Infects Over 100 Million Google Play Store Downloads

Apr 18, 2023 Mobile Security / Hacking
A new Android malware strain named  Goldoson  has been detected in the official Google Play Store spanning more than 60 legitimate apps that collectively have over 100 million downloads. An additional eight million installations have been tracked through ONE store, a leading third-party app storefront in South Korea. The rogue component is part of a third-party software library used by the apps in question and is capable of gathering information about installed apps, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-connected devices, and GPS locations. "Moreover, the library is armed with the functionality to perform ad fraud by clicking advertisements in the background without the user's consent," McAfee security researcher SangRyol Ryu  said  in a report published last week. What's more, it includes the ability to stealthily load web pages, a feature that could be abused to load ads for financial profit. It achieves this by loading HTML code in a hidden  WebView  and driving traffic to th
Severe Android and Novi Survey Vulnerabilities Under Active Exploitation

Severe Android and Novi Survey Vulnerabilities Under Active Exploitation

Apr 14, 2023 Mobile Security / Cyber Threat
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has  added  two vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. The two flaws are listed below - CVE-2023-20963  (CVSS score: 7.8) - Android Framework Privilege Escalation Vulnerability CVE-2023-29492  (CVSS score: TBD) - Novi Survey Insecure Deserialization Vulnerability "Android Framework contains an unspecified vulnerability that allows for privilege escalation after updating an app to a higher Target SDK with no additional execution privileges needed," CISA  said  in an advisory for CVE-2023-20963. Google, in its monthly Android Security Bulletin for March 2023,  acknowledged  "there are indications that CVE-2023-20963 may be under limited, targeted exploitation." The development comes as tech news site Ars Technica  disclosed  late last month that Android apps digitally signed by China's e-commerce company Pinduoduo weap
Cybercriminals Turn to Android Loaders on Dark Web to Evade Google Play Security

Cybercriminals Turn to Android Loaders on Dark Web to Evade Google Play Security

Apr 11, 2023 Mobile Security / Malware
Malicious loader programs capable of trojanizing Android applications are being traded on the criminal underground for up to $20,000 as a way to evade Google Play Store defenses. "The most popular application categories to hide malware and unwanted software include cryptocurrency trackers, financial apps, QR-code scanners, and even dating apps," Kaspersky  said  in a new report based on messages posted on online forums between 2019 and 2023. Dropper apps  are the primary means for threat actors looking to sneak malware via the Google Play Store. Such apps often masquerade as seemingly innocuous apps, with malicious updates introduced upon clearing the review process and the applications have amassed a significant user base. This is achieved by using a loader program that's responsible for injecting malware into a clean app, which is then made available for download from the app marketplace. Users who install the tampered app are prompted to grant it intrusive permiss
Google Mandates Android Apps to Offer Easy Account Deletion In-App and Online

Google Mandates Android Apps to Offer Easy Account Deletion In-App and Online

Apr 06, 2023 Privacy / Mobile Security
Google is enacting a new data deletion policy for Android apps that allow account creation to also offer users with a setting to delete their accounts in an attempt to provide more transparency and control over their data. "For apps that enable app account creation, developers will soon need to provide an option to initiate account and data deletion from within the app and online," Bethel Otuteye, senior director of product management for Android App Safety,  said . "This web requirement, which you will link in your  Data safety form , is especially important so that a user can request account and data deletion without having to reinstall an app." The goal, the search behemoth said, is to have a "readily discoverable option" to initiate an app account deletion process from both within an app and outside of it. To that end, developers are to provide users with an in-app path as well as a web link resource to request app account deletion and associated
3CX Desktop App Supply Chain Attack Leaves Millions at Risk - Urgent Update on the Way!

3CX Desktop App Supply Chain Attack Leaves Millions at Risk - Urgent Update on the Way!

Mar 30, 2023 Supply Chain / Software Security
3CX said it's  working on a software update  for its desktop app after multiple cybersecurity vendors sounded the alarm on what appears to be an active supply chain attack that's using digitally signed and rigged installers of the popular voice and video conferencing software to target downstream customers. "The trojanized 3CX desktop app is the first stage in a multi-stage attack chain that pulls ICO files appended with Base64 data from GitHub and ultimately leads to a third-stage infostealer DLL," SentinelOne researchers  said . The cybersecurity firm is tracking the activity under the name SmoothOperator , stating the threat actor registered a massive attack infrastructure as far back as February 2022. There are indications that the attack may have commenced around March 22, 2023. 3CX, the company behind 3CXDesktopApp,  claims  to have more than 600,000 customers and 12 million users in 190 countries, some of which include well-known names like American Expres
Spyware Vendors Caught Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities on Android and iOS Devices

Spyware Vendors Caught Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities on Android and iOS Devices

Mar 29, 2023 Zero-Day / Mobile Security
A number of zero-day vulnerabilities that were addressed last year were exploited by commercial spyware vendors to target Android and iOS devices, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has revealed. The two distinct campaigns were both limited and highly targeted, taking advantage of the patch gap between the release of a fix and when it was actually deployed on the targeted devices. The scale of the two campaigns and the nature of the targets are currently unknown. "These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools, arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house," TAG's Clement Lecigne  said  in a new report. "While use of surveillance technologies may be legal under national or international laws, they are often found to be used by governments to target dissidents, journalists, human rights workers, and opposition party politicians." The first of the two operations took place in November 2022 and
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