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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Android hacking

Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million

Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million

July 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A former employee of one of the world's most powerful hacking companies NSO Group has been arrested and charged with stealing phone hacking tools from the company and trying to sell it for $50 million on the Darknet secretly. Israeli hacking firm NSO Group is mostly known for selling high-tech malware capable of remotely cracking into Apple's iPhones and Google's Android devices to intelligence apparatuses, militaries, and law enforcement around the world. However, the phone hacking company has recently become the victim of an insider breach attack carried out by a 38-year-old former NSO employee, who stole the source code for the company's most powerful spyware called Pegasus and tried to sell it for $50 million on the dark web in various cryptocurrencies, including Monero and Zcash, Israeli media reported. That's much higher than the actual NSO Group's price tag for Pegasus, which reportedly sells for under $1 million per deployment. If you remember
Thousands of Android Devices Running Insecure Remote ADB Service

Thousands of Android Devices Running Insecure Remote ADB Service

June 12, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Despite warnings about the threat of leaving insecure remote services enabled on Android devices, manufacturers continue to ship devices with open ADB debug port setups that leave Android-based devices exposed to hackers. Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a command-line feature that generally uses for diagnostic and debugging purposes by helping app developers communicate with Android devices remotely to execute commands and, if necessary, completely control a device. Usually, developers connect to ADB service installed on Android devices using a USB cable, but it is also possible to use ADB wirelessly by enabling a daemon server at TCP port 5555 on the device. If left enabled, unauthorized remote attackers can scan the Internet to find a list of insecure Android devices running ADB debug interface over port 5555, remotely access them with highest "root" privileges, and then silently install malware without any authentication. Therefore, vendors are recommended to make
DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide

DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide

May 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Widespread routers' DNS hijacking malware that recently found targeting Android devices has now been upgraded its capabilities to target iOS devices as well as desktop users. Dubbed Roaming Mantis , the malware was initially found hijacking Internet routers last month to distribute Android banking malware designed to steal users' login credentials and the secret code for two-factor authentication. According to security researchers at Kaspersky Lab s, the criminal group behind the Roaming Mantis campaign has broadened their targets by adding phishing attacks for iOS devices, and cryptocurrency mining script for PC users. Moreover, while the initial attacks were designed to target users from South East Asia–including South Korea, China Bangladesh, and Japan–the new campaign now support 27 languages to expand its operations to infect people across Europe and the Middle East. How the Roaming Mantis Malware Works Similar to the previous version, the new Roaming Mantis
GLitch: New 'Rowhammer' Attack Can Remotely Hijack Android Phones

GLitch: New 'Rowhammer' Attack Can Remotely Hijack Android Phones

May 04, 2018Swati Khandelwal
For the very first time, security researchers have discovered an effective way to exploit a four-year-old hacking technique called Rowhammer to hijack an Android phone remotely. Dubbed GLitch , the proof-of-concept technique is a new addition to the Rowhammer attack series which leverages embedded graphics processing units (GPUs) to carry out a Rowhammer attack against Android smartphones. Rowhammer is a problem with recent generation dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips in which repeatedly accessing a row of memory can cause "bit flipping" in an adjacent row, allowing anyone to change the value of contents stored in computer memory. Known since at least 2012, the issue was first exploited by Google's Project Zero researchers in early 2015, when they pulled off remote Rowhammer attacks on computers running Windows and Linux. Last year, a team of researchers in the VUSec Lab at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam demonstrated that the Rowhammer technique could
More than 1,000 Spyware Apps Found On Android App Stores

More than 1,000 Spyware Apps Found On Android App Stores

August 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you think you are downloading apps from Google Play Store and you are secure, then watch out! Someone has managed to flood third-party app stores and Google Play Store with more than a thousand malicious apps, which can monitor almost anything a user does on their mobile device from silently recording calls to make outbound calls without the user's interaction. Dubbed SonicSpy , the spyware has been spreading aggressively across Android app stores since at least February and is being distributed by pretending itself to be a messaging app—and it actually offers a messaging service. SonicSpy Can Perform a Whole Lots of Malicious Tasks At the same time, the SonicSpy spyware apps perform various malicious tasks, including silently recording calls and audio from the microphone, hijacking the device's camera and snap photos, making outbound calls without the user's permission, and sending text messages to numbers chosen by the attacker. Besides this, the SonicSpy sp
New Ransomware Threatens to Send Your Internet History & Private Pics to All Your Friends

New Ransomware Threatens to Send Your Internet History & Private Pics to All Your Friends

July 13, 2017Mohit Kumar
After WannaCry and Petya ransomware outbreaks, a scary (but rather creative) new strain of ransomware is spreading via bogus apps on the Google Play Store, this time targeting Android mobile users. Dubbed LeakerLocker , the Android ransomware does not encrypt files on victim's device, unlike traditional ransomware, rather it secretly collects personal images, messages and browsing history and threatens to share it to their contacts if they don't pay $50 (£38). Researchers at security firm McAfee spotted the LeakerLocker ransomware in at least two apps — Booster & Cleaner Pro and Wallpapers Blur HD — in the Google Play Store, both of which have thousands of downloads. To evade detection of malicious functionality, the apps initially don't contain any malicious payload and typical function like legitimate apps. But once installed by users, the apps load malicious code from its command-and-control server, which instructs them to collect a vast number of sensitive
Beware! Over 800 Android Apps on Google Play Store Contain 'Xavier' Malware

Beware! Over 800 Android Apps on Google Play Store Contain 'Xavier' Malware

June 13, 2017Mohit Kumar
Over 800 different Android apps that have been downloaded millions of times from Google Play Store found to be infected with malicious ad library that silently collects sensitive user data and can perform dangerous operations. Dubbed " Xavier ," the malicious ad library, initially emerged in September 2016, is a member of AdDown malware family, potentially posing a severe threat to millions of Android users. Since 90 percent of Android apps are free for anyone to download, advertising on them is a key revenue source for their developers. For this, they integrate Android SDK Ads Library in their apps, which usually doesn't affect an app's core functionality. According to security researchers at Trend Micro , the malicious ad library comes pre-installed on a wide range of Android applications, including photo editors, wallpapers and ringtone changers, Phone tracking, Volume Booster, Ram Optimizer and music-video player. Features of Xavier Info-Stealing Malware
Google Patches 6 Critical Android Mediaserver Bugs in May Security Update

Google Patches 6 Critical Android Mediaserver Bugs in May Security Update

May 03, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In Brief Google has released its monthly security patches for Android this week, addressing 17 critical vulnerabilities, 6 of which affect Android Mediaserver component that could be used to execute malicious code remotely. Besides patches for Mediaserver, Google also fixed 4 critical vulnerabilities related to Qualcomm components discovered in Android handsets, including Google's Nexus 6P, Pixel XL, and Nexus 9 devices. According to the Google security bulletin for Android  published Monday, this month's security update is one of the largest security fixes the company ever compiled in a single month. Google has split Android's monthly security bulletin into security "patch levels": Partial security patch level (2017-05-01) covers patches for vulnerabilities that are common to all Android devices. Complete security patch level (2017-05-05) includes additional fixes for hardware drivers as well as kernel components that are present only in some d
Android Trojan Targeting Over 420 Banking Apps Worldwide Found On Google Play Store

Android Trojan Targeting Over 420 Banking Apps Worldwide Found On Google Play Store

April 13, 2017Wang Wei
Do you like watching funny videos online? I am not kind of a funny person, but I love watching funny videos clips online, and this is one of the best things that people can do in their spare time. But, beware if you have installed a funny video app from Google Play Store. A security researcher has discovered a new variant of the infamous Android banking Trojan hiding in apps under different names, such as Funny Videos 2017 , on Google Play Store. Niels Croese, the security researcher at Securify B.V firm, analyzed the Funny Videos app that has 1,000 to 5,000 installs and found that the app acts like any of the regular video applications on Play Store, but in the background, it targets victims from banks around the world. This newly discovered banking Trojan works like any other banking malware, but two things that makes it different from others are — its capability to target victims and use of DexProtector tool to obfuscate the app's code. Dubbed BankBot , the banking
Google just discovered a dangerous Android Spyware that went undetected for 3 Years

Google just discovered a dangerous Android Spyware that went undetected for 3 Years

April 04, 2017Swati Khandelwal
An Android version of one of the most sophisticated mobile spyware has been discovered that remained undetected for at least three years due to its smart self-destruction capabilities. Dubbed Chrysaor , the Android spyware has been used in targeted attacks against activists and journalists mostly in Israel, but also in Georgia, Turkey, Mexico, the UAE and other countries. Chrysaor espionage malware, uncovered by researchers at Lookout and Google, is believed to be created by the same Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group Technologies, who was behind the Pegasus iOS spyware initially detected in targeted attacks against human rights activists in the United Arab Emirates last year. NSO Group Technologies is believed to produce the most advanced mobile spyware on the planet and sold them to governments, law enforcement agencies worldwide, as well as dictatorial regimes. The newly discovered Chrysaor spyware has been found installed on fewer than three-dozen Android devices, al
Beware! Pre-Installed Android Malware Found On 36 High-end Smartphones

Beware! Pre-Installed Android Malware Found On 36 High-end Smartphones

March 11, 2017Wang Wei
Bought a brand new Android Smartphone? Do not expect it to be a clean slate. At least 36 high-end smartphone models belonging to popular manufacturing companies such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Asus, Nexus, Oppo, and Lenovo, which are being distributed by two unidentified companies have been found pre-loaded with malware programs. These malware infected devices were identified after a Check Point malware scan was performed on Android devices. Two malware families were detected on the infected devices: Loki and SLocker. According to a blog post published Friday by Check Point researchers, these malicious software apps were not part of the official ROM firmware supplied by the smartphone manufacturers but were installed later somewhere along the supply chain, before the handsets arrived at the two companies from the manufacturer's factory. First seen in February 2016, Loki Trojan inject devices right inside core Android operating system processes to gain powerful root privi
More Firmware Backdoor Found In Cheap Android Phones

More Firmware Backdoor Found In Cheap Android Phones

December 13, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Here's some bad news for Android users again. Certain low-cost Android smartphones and tablets are shipped with malicious firmware, which covertly gathers data about the infected devices, displays advertisements on top of running applications and downloads unwanted APK files on the victim's devices. Security researchers from Russian antivirus vendor Dr.Web have discovered two types of downloader Trojans that have been incorporated in the firmware of a large number of popular Android devices operating on the MediaTek platform, which are mostly marketed in Russia. The Trojans, detected as Android.DownLoader.473.origin and Android.Sprovider.7 , are capable of collecting data about the infected devices, contacting their command-and-control servers, automatically updating themselves, covertly downloading and installing other apps based on the instructions it receives from their server, and running each time the device is restarted or turned on. The list of Android devic
Pre-installed Backdoor On 700 Million Android Phones Sending Users' Data To China

Pre-installed Backdoor On 700 Million Android Phones Sending Users' Data To China

November 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Do you own an Android smartphone? You could be one of those 700 Million users whose phone is secretly sending text messages to China every 72 hours. You heard that right. Over 700 Million Android smartphones contain a secret 'backdoor' that surreptitiously sends all your text messages, call log, contact list, location history, and app data to China every 72 hours. Security researchers from Kryptowire discovered the alleged backdoor hidden in the firmware of many budget Android smartphones sold in the United States, which covertly gathers data on phone owners and sends it to a Chinese server without users knowing. First reported on by the New York Times on Tuesday, the backdoored firmware software is developed by China-based company Shanghai AdUps Technology, which claims that its software runs updates for more than 700 Million devices worldwide. Infected Android Smartphone WorldWide Moreover, it is worth noting that AdUps provides its software to much larger ha
Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016

Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016

November 11, 2016Wang Wei
The brand new Android smartphone launched by Google just a few months back has been hacked by Chinese hackers just in less than a minute. Yes, the Google's latest Pixel smartphone has been hacked by a team white-hat hackers from Qihoo 360, besides at the 2016 PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul. The Qihoo 360 team demonstrated a proof-of-concept exploit that used a zero-day vulnerability in order to achieve remote code execution (RCE) on the target smartphone. The exploit then launched the Google Play Store on the Pixel smartphone before opening Google Chrome and displaying a web page that read "Pwned By 360 Alpha Team," the Reg media reports . Qihoo 360 won $120,000 cash prize for hacking the Pixel. Google will now work to patch the vulnerability. Besides the Google Pixel, Microsoft Edge running under Windows 10 was also hacked in PwnFest hacking competition. The Qihoo 360 team also hacked Adobe Flash with a combination of a decade-old, use-after-free
How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices

How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices

July 01, 2016Mohit Kumar
The heated battle between Apple and the FBI provoked a lot of talk about Encryption – the technology that has been used to keep all your bits and bytes as safe as possible. We can not say a lot about Apple's users, but Android users are at severe risk when it comes to encryption of their personal and sensitive data. Android's full-disk encryption can be cracked much more easily than expected with brute force attack and some patience, affecting potentially hundreds of millions of mobile devices. And the worst part: There may not be a full fix available for current Android handsets in the market. Google started implementing Full Disk Encryption on Android by default with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Full disk encryption (FDE) can prevent both hackers and even powerful law enforcement agencies from gaining unauthorized access to device's data. Android's disk encryption, in short, is the process of encoding all user's data on an Android device before ever wri
Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages

Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages

October 28, 2015Khyati Jain
A large number of third-party Android apps have reportedly been discovered grabbing copies of all text messages received or sent to infected devices and sending them to the attackers' server. More than 63,000 Android applications use Taomike SDK – one of the biggest mobile advertisement solutions in China – to help developers display ads in their mobile apps and generate revenue. However, around 18,000 of these Android apps contains a malicious code that spy on users text messages, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks, who made the discovery . Taomike provides a Software Development Toolkit (SDK) and services to the Android app developers using which they can: Displaying advertisements to users Offer in-app purchases (IAPs) Android Apps Stealing SMS Messages Focussing on distributing the app and techniques for building revenue, "Not all apps that use the Taomike library steal SMS messages," security researchers said. The security
New Android Vulnerable Lets Hackers Take Over Your Phone

New Android Vulnerable Lets Hackers Take Over Your Phone

August 24, 2015Khyati Jain
This time Everything is Affected! Yet another potentially dangerous vulnerability has reportedly been disclosed in the Google's mobile operating system platform – Android . Android has been hit by a number of security flaws this month, including:   Stagefright vulnerability that affects 950 Million Android devices worldwide A critical mediaserver vulnerability that threatened to crash more than 55 percent of Android devices Another critical flaw (CVE-2015-3842) discovered last week, affected almost all the versions of Android devices This time the issue resides in the multitasking capability of the Android phones, the ability to run more than one app at a time. The security flaw gives hacker ability to spy on Android smartphone owners, steal login credentials, install malware , and many more, according to the latest research conducted by the researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and FireEye . How the Attack Works? According to security
Another Critical Flaw Affecting Almost All Android Devices

Another Critical Flaw Affecting Almost All Android Devices

August 18, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Two weeks ago, we reported about a critical mediaserver vulnerability that threatened to crash more than 55 percent of Android devices, making them unresponsive and practically unusable to perform most essential tasks. Now, security researchers at Trend Micro have uncovered another flaw in the Android's mediaserver component that could be remotely exploited to install malware onto a target device by sending a specially crafted multimedia message. The vulnerability ( CVE-2015-3842 ) affects almost all the versions of Android devices from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, potentially putting hundreds of Millions of Android devices open to hackers. Since Google has patched this issue, but hopefully the patch issued by Google this time isn't incomplete like its patch for the Stagefright vulnerability that affects 950 Million Android devices worldwide. How the Vulnerability Works? The security flaw involves a mediaserver component called Aud
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