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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Android+Malware

Fake WhatsApp On Google Play Store Downloaded By Over 1 Million Android Users

Fake WhatsApp On Google Play Store Downloaded By Over 1 Million Android Users

November 03, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Cybercriminals are known to take advantage of everything that's popular among people in order to spread malware, and Google's official Play Store has always proved no less than an excellent place for hackers to get their job done. Yesterday some users spotted a fake version of the most popular WhatsApp messaging app for Android on the official Google Play Store that has already tricked more than one million users into downloading it. Dubbed Update WhatsApp Messenger , came from an app developer who pretended to be the actual WhatsApp service with the developer title "WhatsApp Inc."—the same title the actual WhatsApp messenger uses on Google Play. You might be wondering how the sneaky app developer was able to use the same title as the legitimate Facebook-owned maker of the messaging client—thanks to a Unicode character space. The app maker added a Unicode character space after the actual WhatsApp Inc. name, which in computer code reads WhatsApp+Inc%C2%A0 .
New Ransomware Not Just Encrypts Your Android But Also Changes PIN Lock

New Ransomware Not Just Encrypts Your Android But Also Changes PIN Lock

October 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
DoubleLocker —as the name suggests, it locks device twice. Security researchers from Slovakia-based security software maker ESET have discovered a new Android ransomware that not just encrypts users' data, but also locks them out of their devices by changing lock screen PIN. On top of that: DoubleLocker is the first-ever ransomware to misuse Android accessibility —a feature that provides users alternative ways to interact with their smartphone devices, and mainly misused by Android banking Trojans to steal banking credentials. "Given its banking malware roots, DoubleLocker may well be turned into what could be called ransom-bankers," said Lukáš Štefanko, the malware researcher at ESET. "Two-stage malware that first tries to wipe your bank or PayPal account and subsequently locks your device and data to request a ransom." Researchers believe DoubleLocker ransomware could be upgraded in future to steal banking credentials as well, other than just ext
Red Alert 2.0: New Android Banking Trojan for Sale on Hacking Forums

Red Alert 2.0: New Android Banking Trojan for Sale on Hacking Forums

September 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The Recent discoveries of dangerous variants of the Android banking Trojan families, including Faketoken , Svpeng , and BankBot , present a significant threat to online users who may have their login credentials and valuable personal data stolen. Security researchers from SfyLabs have now discovered a new Android banking Trojan that is being rented on many dark websites for $500 per month, SfyLabs' researcher Han Sahin told The Hacker News. Dubbed Red Alert 2.0 , the Android banking malware has been fully written from scratch, unlike other banking trojans, such as BankBot and ExoBot, which were evolved from the leaked source code of older trojans. The Red Alert banking malware has been distributed via many online hacking forums since last few months, and its creators have continuously been updating the malware to add new functionalities in an effort to make it a dangerous threat to potential victims. Malware Blocks Incoming Calls from Banks Like most other Android b
Yet Another Android Malware Infects Over 4.2 Million Google Play Store Users

Yet Another Android Malware Infects Over 4.2 Million Google Play Store Users

September 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Even after so many efforts by Google, malicious apps somehow managed to fool its Play Store's anti-malware protections and infect people with malicious software. The same happened once again when at least 50 apps managed to make its way onto Google Play Store and were successfully downloaded as many as 4.2 million times—one of the biggest malware outbreaks. Security firm Check Point on Thursday published a blog post revealing at least 50 Android apps that were free to download on official Play Store and were downloaded between 1 million and 4.2 million times before Google removed them. These Android apps come with hidden malware payload that secretly registers victims for paid online services, sends fraudulent premium text messages from victims' smartphones and leaves them to pay the bill—all without the knowledge or permission of users. Dubbed ExpensiveWall by Check Point researchers because it was found in the Lovely Wallpaper app, the malware comes hidden in fre
BlueBorne: Critical Bluetooth Attack Puts Billions of Devices at Risk of Hacking

BlueBorne: Critical Bluetooth Attack Puts Billions of Devices at Risk of Hacking

September 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you are using a Bluetooth enabled device, be it a smartphone, laptop, smart TV or any other IoT device, you are at risk of malware attacks that can carry out remotely to take over your device even without requiring any interaction from your side. Security researchers have just discovered total 8 zero-day vulnerabilities in Bluetooth protocol that impact more than 5.3 Billion devices—from Android, iOS, Windows and Linux to the Internet of things (IoT) devices—using the short-range wireless communication technology. Using these vulnerabilities, security researchers at IoT security firm Armis have devised an attack, dubbed BlueBorne , which could allow attackers to completely take over Bluetooth-enabled devices, spread malware, or even establish a "man-in-the-middle" connection to gain access to devices' critical data and networks without requiring any victim interaction. All an attacker need is for the victim's device to have Bluetooth turned on and obvious
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
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
First Android-Rooting Trojan With Code Injection Ability Found On Google Play Store

First Android-Rooting Trojan With Code Injection Ability Found On Google Play Store

June 08, 2017Mohit Kumar
A new Android-rooting malware with an ability to disable device' security settings in an effort to perform malicious tasks in the background has been detected on the official Play Store. What's interesting? The app was smart enough to fool Google security mechanism by first pretending itself to be a clean app and then temporarily replacing it with a malicious version. Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered a new piece of Android rooting malware that was being distributed as gaming apps on the Google Play Store, hiding behind puzzle game " colourblock ," which was being downloaded at least 50,000 times prior to its removal. Dubbed Dvmap , the Android rooting malware disables device's security settings to install another malicious app from a third-party source and also injects malicious code into the device system runtime libraries to gain root access and stay persistent. "To bypass Google Play Store security checks, the malware creators used
Judy Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Google Play Store Users

Judy Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Google Play Store Users

May 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have claimed to have discovered possibly the largest malware campaign on Google Play Store that has already infected around 36.5 million Android devices with malicious ad-click software. The security firm Checkpoint on Thursday published a blog post revealing more than 41 Android applications from a Korean company on Google Play Store that make money for its creators by creating fake advertisement clicks from the infected devices. All the malicious apps, developed by Korea-based Kiniwini and published under the moniker ENISTUDIO Corp, contained an adware program, dubbed Judy, that is being used to generate fraudulent clicks to generate revenue from advertisements. Moreover, the researchers also uncovered a few more apps, published by other developers on Play Store, inexplicably containing the same the malware in them. The connection between the two campaigns remains unclear, though researchers believe it is possible that one developer borrowed code from
Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

April 26, 2017Mohit Kumar
Initially thought to be 600,000 users, the number of Android users who have mistakenly downloaded and installed malware on their devices straight from Google Play Store has reached 2 Million. Yes, about 2 Million Android users have fallen victim to malware hidden in over 40 fake companion guide apps for popular mobile games, such as Pokémon Go and FIFA Mobile, on the official Google Play Store, according to security researchers from Check Point. Dubbed FalseGuide by the Check Point researchers, the malware creates a " silent botnet out of the infected devices " to deliver fraudulent mobile adware and generate ad revenue for cybercriminals. Nearly 2 Million Android Users Infected! While initially it was believed that the oldest instance of FalseGuide was uploaded to the Google Play in February and made its way onto over 600,000 devices within two months, further in-depth analysis by researchers revealed more infected apps which date back to November 2016. "
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
Google Kicks Out Largest Android Adware Family From The Play Store

Google Kicks Out Largest Android Adware Family From The Play Store

March 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
With the rise in the mobile market, Adware has become one of the most prevalent mobile threats in the world. Adware has traditionally been used to aggressively push ads like banners or pop-ups on mobile screens to make money. The troublesome part is that Adware is now becoming trojanized and more sophisticated, as it aggressively collects personal data from the mobile device it's installed on, including name, birth date, location, serial number, contacts, and browser data without users' consent. However, the risk is a bit higher on Android than other platforms because of the extra permissions that apps enjoy. Although Google has stepped up its efforts to remove potentially harmful apps from its Play Store in the past years and added more stringent malware checks for new apps, Adware app eventually finds its way into its mobile app marketplace to target millions of Android users. In its recent efforts to make its Play Store ecosystem safe, Google has recently discover
Hackers Are Using Android Malware To Spy On Israeli Military Personnel

Hackers Are Using Android Malware To Spy On Israeli Military Personnel

February 17, 2017Mohit Kumar
A group of highly sophisticated state-sponsored hackers is spying on the Israeli military by hacking into the personal Android phones of individual soldiers to monitor their activities and steal data. A newly released research by Lookout and Kaspersky suggests that more than 100 Israeli servicemen from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) are believed to have been targeted with spyware. Dubbed ViperRAT , the malware has specifically been designed to hijack Israeli soldiers' Android-based smartphones and remotely exfiltrate data of high value, including photos and audio recordings, directly from the compromised devices. Modus Operandi Identified According to the security firms, IDF personnel had been compromised by social engineering techniques — where the soldiers were lured via Facebook Messenger and other social networks into entering communications with hackers who posed as attractive women from various countries like Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. The soldiers were th
New Android Malware Hijacks Router DNS from Smartphone

New Android Malware Hijacks Router DNS from Smartphone

December 28, 2016Mohit Kumar
Another day, another creepy malware for Android users! Security Researchers have uncovered a new Android malware targeting your devices, but this time instead of attacking the device directly, the malware takes control over the WiFi router to which your device is connected to and then hijacks the web traffic passing through it. Dubbed " Switcher ," the new Android malware, discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, hacks the wireless routers and changes their DNS settings to redirect traffic to malicious websites. Over a week ago, Proofpoint researchers discovered similar attack targeting PCs, but instead of infecting the target's machines, the Stegano exploit kit takes control over the local WiFi routers the infected device is connected to. Switcher Malware carries out Brute-Force attack against Routers Hackers are currently distributing the Switcher trojan by disguising itself as an Android app for the Chinese search engine Baidu (com.baidu.com), and as
Android Banking Trojan Tricks Victims into Submitting Selfie Holding their ID Card

Android Banking Trojan Tricks Victims into Submitting Selfie Holding their ID Card

October 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
While some payment card companies like Mastercard have switched to selfies as an alternative to passwords when verifying IDs for online payments, hackers have already started taking advantage of this new security verification methods. Researchers have discovered a new Android banking Trojan that masquerades primarily as a video plugin, like Adobe Flash Player, pornographic app, or video codec, and asks victims to send a selfie holding their ID card, according to a blog post published by McAfee. The Trojan is the most recent version of Acecard that has been labeled as one of the most dangerous Android banking Trojans known today, according to Kaspersky Lab Anti-malware Research Team. Once successfully installed, the trojan asks users for a number of device's permissions to execute the malicious code and then waits for victims to open apps, specifically those where it would make sense to request payment card information. Acecard Steals your Payment Card and Real ID det
Xiaomi Can Silently Install Any App On Your Android Phone Using A Backdoor

Xiaomi Can Silently Install Any App On Your Android Phone Using A Backdoor

September 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Note — Don't miss an important update at the bottom of this article, which includes an official statement from Xiaomi . Do you own an Android Smartphone from Xiaomi, HTC, Samsung, or OnePlus? If yes, then you must be aware that almost all smartphone manufacturers provide custom ROMs like CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, MIUI and others with some pre-loaded themes and applications to increase the device's performance. But do you have any idea about the pre-installed apps and services your manufacturer has installed on your device?, What are their purposes? And, Do they pose any threat to your security or privacy? With the same curiosity to find answers to these questions, a Computer Science student and security enthusiast from Netherlands who own a Xiaomi Mi4 smartphone started an investigation to know the purpose of a mysterious pre-installed app, dubbed AnalyticsCore.apk , that runs 24x7 in the background and reappeared even if you delete it. Xiaomi is one of the
GM Bot (Android Malware) Source Code Leaked Online

GM Bot (Android Malware) Source Code Leaked Online

February 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The source code of a recently discovered Android banking Trojan that has the capability to gain administrator access on your smartphone and completely erase your phone's storage has been LEAKED online. The banking Trojan family is known by several names; Security researchers from FireEye dubbed it SlemBunk, Symantec dubbed it Bankosy, and last week when Heimdal Security uncovered it, they dubbed it MazarBot . All the above wave of Android banking Trojans originated from a common threat family, dubbed GM Bot, which IBM has been tracking since 2014. GM Bot emerged on the Russian cybercrime underground forums, sold for $500 / €450, but it appears someone who bought the code leaked it on a forum in December 2015, the IBM X-Force team reported. What is GM Bot and Why Should You Worry about it? The recent version of GM Bot ( dubbed MazarBOT ) has the capability to display phishing pages on the top of mobile banking applications in an effort to trick Android users
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