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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Android

China's Baidu Android Apps Caught Collecting Sensitive User Data

China's Baidu Android Apps Caught Collecting Sensitive User Data

November 24, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Two popular Android apps from Chinese tech giant Baidu were temporarily unavailable on the Google Play Store in October after they were caught collecting sensitive user details. The two apps in question— Baidu Maps and Baidu Search Box —were found to collect device identifiers, such as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number or MAC address, without users' knowledge, thus making them  potentially trackable  online. The  discovery  was made by network security firm Palo Alto Networks, who notified both Baidu and Google of their findings, after which the search company pulled the apps on October 28, citing "unspecified violations."  As of writing, a compliant version of Baidu Search Box has been restored to the Play Store on November 19, while Baidu Maps remains unavailable until the unresolved issues highlighted by Google are fixed. A separate app named Homestyler was also found to collect private information from users' Android devices. Accord
Facebook Messenger Bug Lets Hackers Listen to You Before You Pick Up the Call

Facebook Messenger Bug Lets Hackers Listen to You Before You Pick Up the Call

November 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Facebook has patched a bug in its widely installed Messenger app for Android that could have allowed a remote attacker to call unsuspecting targets and listen to them before even they picked up the audio call. The flaw was discovered and reported to Facebook by  Natalie Silvanovich  of Google's Project Zero bug-hunting team last month on October 6 with a 90-day deadline, and impacts version 284.0.0.16.119 (and before) of Facebook Messenger for Android. In a nutshell, the vulnerability could have granted an attacker who is logged into the app to simultaneously initiate a call and send a specially crafted message to a target who is signed in to both the app as well as another Messenger client such as the web browser. "It would then trigger a scenario where, while the device is ringing, the caller would begin receiving audio either until the person being called answers or the call times out," Facebook's Security Engineering Manager Dan Gurfinkel  said . According t
Google Removes 21 Malicious Android Apps from Play Store

Google Removes 21 Malicious Android Apps from Play Store

October 27, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has stepped in to remove several Android applications from the official Play Store following the disclosure that the apps in question were found to serve intrusive ads. The findings were  reported  by the Czech cybersecurity firm Avast on Monday, which said the 21 malicious apps (list  here ) were downloaded nearly eight million times from Google's app marketplace. The apps masqueraded as harmless gaming apps and came packed with  HiddenAds  malware, a notorious Trojan known for its capabilities to serve intrusive ads outside of the app. The group behind the operation relies on social media channels to lure users into downloading the apps. Earlier this June, Avast discovered a  similar HiddenAds campaign  involving 47 gaming apps with over 15 million downloads that were leveraged to display device-wide intrusive ads. "Developers of adware are increasingly using social media channels, like regular marketers would," Avast's Jakub Vávra said. "This time
Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

October 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A Windows-based remote access Trojan believed to be designed by Pakistani hacker groups to infiltrate computers and steal users' data has resurfaced after a two-year span with retooled capabilities to target Android and macOS devices. According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the malware — dubbed " GravityRAT " — now masquerades as legitimate Android and macOS apps to capture device data, contact lists, e-mail addresses, and call and text logs and transmit them to an attacker-controlled server. First documented by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in August 2017 and subsequently by  Cisco Talos  in April 2018, GravityRAT has been known to target Indian entities and organizations via malware-laced Microsoft Office Word documents at least since 2015. Noting that the threat actor developed at least four different versions of the espionage tool, Cisco said, "the developer was clever enough to keep this infrastructure safe, and not have it blackl
Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

October 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has warned about a new strain of mobile ransomware that takes advantage of incoming call notifications and Android's Home button to lock the device behind a ransom note. The findings concern a variant of a known Android ransomware family dubbed "MalLocker.B" which has now resurfaced with new techniques, including a novel means to deliver the ransom demand on infected devices as well as an obfuscation mechanism to evade security solutions. The development comes amid a huge surge in ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure across sectors, with a 50% increase in the daily average of ransomware attacks in the last three months compared to the first half of the year, and cybercriminals increasingly incorporating double extortion in their playbook. MalLocker has been known for being hosted on malicious websites and circulated on online forums using various social engineering lures by masquerading as popular apps, cracked games, or video players. Pre
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