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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Android 5.0

Researchers Uncover Spying Tool Used by Governments to Hijack all Types of Smartphones

Researchers Uncover Spying Tool Used by Governments to Hijack all Types of Smartphones

June 25, 2014Mohit Kumar
Purchasing malware to victimize people is illegal by laws but if the same thing any government official do, then its not!! Yes, the police forces around the World are following the footsteps of U.S. National Security Agency ( NSA ) and FBI. Researchers from the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and computer security firm Kaspersky Lab have unearthed a broad network of controversial spyware which is specially designed to give law enforcement agencies complete access to a suspect's phone for the purpose of surveillance. MALWARE FOR DESKTOPS AND ALL MOBILE DEVICES The malware , dubbed as Remote Control System (RCS) , also known as Da Vinci and Galileo, is developed by an Italian company known as Hacking Team, available for desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. The latest version of the malware works for all phone including Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry devices, but best on Android devices , and can also b
PlayDrone Reveals Secret Keys from Thousands of Play Store Android Apps

PlayDrone Reveals Secret Keys from Thousands of Play Store Android Apps

June 19, 2014Wang Wei
Google's Android Mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets have Google's own Play Store that provides its Android users the most visible way to access the world of millions of apps. App developers produce more than thousands of applications each year, but majority of newbie and unprofessional developers use unsafe, unreliable, and insecure coding practices, as many developers store secret keys in their apps that could potentially allow cybercriminals to steal users' sensitive data. A team of researchers from the computer science department of the Columbia University have discovered a critical security problem in the Google's official Android app store from where millions of Android users download various apps. Researchers have found that most of the Android application developers often store their secret keys in their app's code, similar to usernames/passwords information, which could be then used by any bad actor to maliciously steal users' information or r
Towelroot : One-Click Android Rooting Tool Released By Geohot

Towelroot : One-Click Android Rooting Tool Released By Geohot

June 18, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Waiting for the root access for your AT&T or Verizon Android phone? Then there is really a Great News for you! Geohot (aka George Hotz) - a famed cracker who was responsible for hacking the PlayStation 3 and subsequently being sued by Sony - has built and released a root tool called Towelroot on Sunday night that will let most Android smartphones users to root their Android device with one click only, as long as it has an unpatched version of the Linux kernel. EXPLOITS LINUX KERNEL VULNERABILITY  Towelroot application exploits the same vulnerability (CVE-2014-3153) which was recently disclosed by the hacker Pinkie Pie in the Linux kernel version 3.14.5 and most versions of other Android devices, which could be leveraged by hackers to potentially acquire root access on affected devices. Having root access of your device simply means you make System-level changes to your device such as accessing and modifying any file or program using any mode (single- or multi-
Student Decrypts Simplocker Android Ransomware that Encrypts Files

Student Decrypts Simplocker Android Ransomware that Encrypts Files

June 17, 2014Swati Khandelwal
In a previous story, I reported about a new ransomware threat known as Simplocker discovered by researchers at the security firm ESET, targeting Android users in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, India and Russia, for ransom. Simplocker (Android/Simplocker.A) is the latest Android ransomware that has ability to encrypt the files using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) on the Android device SD cards demanding users pay a ransom of 260 UAH ( Ukrainian hryvnias ), which is roughly equal to $21 US, for those files to be decrypted. To hide their track, the malware author is using the Command-and-Control server hosted on TOR .onion domain, which makes it difficult to trace the server's physical location or determine who is operating it. The malware collects information about the users' phone such as IMEI number, Operating System, phone model and manufacturer to send it all to Command-and-Control server. STUDENT CRACKS SIMPLOCKER RANSOMWARE Now, an undergraduate stu
Chinese Android Smartphone comes with Pre-installed Spyware

Chinese Android Smartphone comes with Pre-installed Spyware

June 17, 2014Mohit Kumar
If US has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology due to suspected backdoors, then they are not wrong at all. A popular Chinese Android Smartphone comes pre-installed with a Trojan that could allow manufacturer to spy onto their users' comprising their personal data and conversations without any restrictions and users knowledge. GOOGLE PLAY STORE OR A SPYING APP? According to the researchers at the German security firm G Data , the Star N9500 smartphone, a popular and cheap handset device in China, comes pre-installed with Uupay.D Trojan horse, disguising as a version of the Google Play Store. The trojan camouflage as the Google Play Store , so it enables Chinese Company to secretly install malicious apps, which creates the whole spectrum of abuse. STEALING WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS The nasty Spyware runs in the background and has capability to steal
Google Play Store Update Allows Apps to Silently Gain Control of Your Device

Google Play Store Update Allows Apps to Silently Gain Control of Your Device

June 13, 2014Mohit Kumar
Google just made a huge change to the way application permissions work on Android devices which has left a potential door open to malicious app developers and hackers. Google narrows down Android's 145 permissions into 13 broad categories and groups app permissions into ' groups of related permissions ', likely for Android users to have an easier time dealing with app permissions. Unfortunately, the new update has introduced a few potential security and privacy issues, as listed below: hiding permissions behind the group names auto-updating app with no warning for new permissions According to new update, once a user approves an app's permissions, he actually approves the whole respective permission groups. For example, if an app want to read your incoming SMS messages, then it requires the " Read SMS messages " permission. But now installing an app, you are actually giving it access to all SMS-related permissions. The app developer can then include
First Android Ransomware that Encrypts SD Card Files

First Android Ransomware that Encrypts SD Card Files

June 05, 2014Swati Khandelwal
We have seen cybercriminals targeting PCs with Ransomware malware that encrypts your files or lock down your computer and ask for a ransom amount to be paid in a specified duration of time to unlock it. To deliver the Ransomware malwares to the mobile devices, cyber criminals have already started creating malicious software programs for android devices. Last month, we reported about a new Police Ransomware malware that locks up the devices until the victims pay a ransom to get the keys to unlock the phone. But, the malware just lock the mobile screen and a loophole in the its implementation allowed users to recover their device and data stored on SDcard. Now, in an effort to overcome this, threat actors have adopted encryption in the development of mobile Ransomware malwares. Recently, the security firm ESET has discovered a new Android ransomware, dubbed as Android/Simplocker.A , that has ability to encrypt the files on the device SD card and then demand a ransom from the victim
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