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Flaws in Samsung Phones Exposed Android Users to Remote Attacks

Flaws in Samsung Phones Exposed Android Users to Remote Attacks

Aug 12, 2020
New research disclosed a string of severe security vulnerabilities in the ' Find My Mobile '—an Android app that comes pre-installed on most Samsung smartphones—that could have allowed remote attackers to track victims' real-time location, monitor phone calls, and messages, and even delete data stored on the phone. Portugal-based cybersecurity services provider Char49 revealed its findings on Samsung's Find My Mobile Android app at the DEF CON conference last week and shared details with the Hacker News. "This flaw, after setup, can be easily exploited and with severe implications for the user and with a potentially catastrophic impact: permanent denial of service via phone lock, complete data loss with factory reset (SD card included), serious privacy implication via IMEI and location tracking as well as call and SMS log access," Char49's Pedro Umbelino said in technical analysis. The flaws, which work on unpatched Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, and S9+
New Android Malware Now Steals Passwords For Non-Banking Apps Too

New Android Malware Now Steals Passwords For Non-Banking Apps Too

Jul 16, 2020
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a new strain of banking malware that targets not only banking apps but also steals data and credentials from social networking, dating, and cryptocurrency apps—a total of 337 non-financial Android applications on its target list. Dubbed " BlackRock " by ThreatFabric researchers, which discovered the trojan in May, its source code is derived from a leaked version of Xerxes banking malware, which itself is a strain of the LokiBot Android banking trojan that was first observed during 2016-2017. Chief among its features are stealing user credentials, intercepting SMS messages, hijacking notifications, and even recording keystrokes from the targeted apps, in addition to being capable of hiding from antivirus software. "Not only did the [BlackRock] Trojan undergo changes in its code, but also comes with an increased target list and has been ongoing for a longer period," ThreatFabric said. "It contains an important nu
Joker Malware Apps Once Again Bypass Google's Security to Spread via Play Store

Joker Malware Apps Once Again Bypass Google's Security to Spread via Play Store

Jul 09, 2020
Cybersecurity researchers took the wraps off yet another instance of Android malware hidden under the guise of legitimate applications to stealthily subscribe unsuspecting users for premium services without their knowledge. In a report published by Check Point research today, the malware — infamously called Joker (or Bread) — has found another trick to bypass Google's Play Store protections: obfuscate the malicious DEX executable inside the application as Base64 encoded strings, which are then decoded and loaded on the compromised device. Following responsible disclosure by Check Point researchers, the 11 apps ( list and hashes here ) in question were removed by Google from the Play Store on April 30, 2020. "The Joker malware is tricky to detect, despite Google's investment in adding Play Store protections," said Check Point 's Aviran Hazum, who identified the new modus operandi of Joker malware. "Although Google removed the malicious apps from the P
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New Guide: How to Scale Your vCISO Services Profitably

New Guide: How to Scale Your vCISO Services Profitably

May 09, 2024vCISO / Regulatory Compliance
Cybersecurity and compliance guidance are in high demand among SMEs. However, many of them cannot afford to hire a full-time CISO. A  v CISO can answer this need by offering on-demand access to top-tier cybersecurity expertise. This is also an opportunity for MSPs and MSSPs to grow their business and bottom line. MSPs and MSSPs that expand their offerings and provide vCISO services will cater to SME requirements and concerns. By answering this market gap, they can grow their customer base as well as upsell to existing clients. This will lead to recurring revenue and increased profitability. Developing and scaling vCISO services requires a well-thought-out plan. This will help guide you through the required processes, anticipate and overcome challenges and optimize resource use. To aid you, we introduce a comprehensive and actionable  guide: "How to Scale Your vCISO Services Profitably" . The guide was developed based on the experience of industry leader  Cynom i, who has helped hun
New 0-Day Flaw Affecting Most Android Phones Being Exploited in the Wild

New 0-Day Flaw Affecting Most Android Phones Being Exploited in the Wild

Oct 04, 2019
Another day, another revelation of a critical unpatched zero-day vulnerability, this time in the world's most widely used mobile operating system, Android. What's more? The Android zero-day vulnerability has also been found to be exploited in the wild by the Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group—infamous for selling zero-day exploits to governments—or one of its customers, to gain control of their targets' Android devices. Discovered by Project Zero researcher Maddie Stone, the details and a proof-of-concept exploit for the high-severity security vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-2215, has been made public today—just seven days after reporting it to the Android security team. The zero-day is a use-after-free vulnerability in the Android kernel's binder driver that can allow a local privileged attacker or an app to escalate their privileges to gain root access to a vulnerable device and potentially take full remote control of the device. Vulnerable Android D
Android Phones Can Get Hacked Just by Looking at a PNG Image

Android Phones Can Get Hacked Just by Looking at a PNG Image

Feb 06, 2019
Using an Android device? Beware! You have to remain more caution while opening an image file on your smartphone—downloaded anywhere from the Internet or received through messaging or email apps. Yes, just viewing an innocuous-looking image could hack your Android smartphone—thanks to three newly-discovered critical vulnerabilities that affect millions of devices running recent versions of Google's mobile operating system, ranging from Android 7.0 Nougat to its current Android 9.0 Pie. The vulnerabilities, identified as CVE-2019-1986, CVE-2019-1987, and CVE-2019-1988, have been patched in Android Open Source Project (AOSP) by Google as part of its February Android Security Updates . However, since not every handset manufacturer rolls out security patches every month, it's difficult to determine if your Android device will get these security patches anytime sooner. Although Google engineers have not yet revealed any technical details explaining the vulnerabilities, t
New Man-in-the-Disk attack leaves millions of Android phones vulnerable

New Man-in-the-Disk attack leaves millions of Android phones vulnerable

Aug 14, 2018
Security researchers at Check Point Software Technologies have discovered a new attack vector against the Android operating system that could potentially allow attackers to silently infect your smartphones with malicious apps or launch denial of service attacks. Dubbed Man-in-the-Disk , the attack takes advantage of the way Android apps utilize 'External Storage' system to store app-related data, which if tampered could result in code injection in the privileged context of the targeted application. It should be noted that apps on the Android operating system can store its resources on the device in two locations—internal storage and external storage. Google itself offers guidelines to Android application developers urging them to use internal storage, which is an isolated space allocated to each application protected using Android's built-in sandbox, to store their sensitive files or data. However, researchers found that many popular apps—including Google Translate
Popular Android Phone Manufacturers Caught Lying About Security Updates

Popular Android Phone Manufacturers Caught Lying About Security Updates

Apr 13, 2018
Android ecosystem is highly broken when it comes to security, and device manufacturers (better known as OEMs) make it even worse by not providing critical patches in time. According to a new study, most Android vendors have been lying to users about security updates and telling customers that their smartphones are running the latest updates. In other words, most smartphone manufacturers including big players like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Sony, HTC, LG, and Huawei are not delivering you every critical security patch they're supposed to, a study by Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell of German security firm Security Research Labs (SRL) revealed. Nohl and Lell examined the firmware of 1,200 smartphones from over a dozen vendors, for every Android patch released last year, and found that many devices have a "patch gap," leaving parts of the Android ecosystem exposed to hackers. "Sometimes these guys just change the date without installing any patches. Probably for m
Researchers Uncover Government-Sponsored Mobile Hacking Group Operating Since 2012

Researchers Uncover Government-Sponsored Mobile Hacking Group Operating Since 2012

Jan 19, 2018
A global mobile espionage campaign collecting a trove of sensitive personal information from victims since at least 2012 has accidentally revealed itself—thanks to an exposed server on the open internet. It's one of the first known examples of a successful large-scale hacking operation of mobile phones rather than computers. The advanced persistent threat (APT) group, dubbed Dark Caracal , has claimed to have stolen hundreds of gigabytes of data, including personally identifiable information and intellectual property, from thousands of victims in more than 21 different countries, according to a new report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and security firm Lookout. After mistakenly leaking some of its files to the internet, the shadowy hacking group is traced back to a building owned by the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security (GDGS), one of the country's intelligence agencies, in Beirut. "Based on the available evidence, it's likely
Android Flaw Lets Hackers Inject Malware Into Apps Without Altering Signatures

Android Flaw Lets Hackers Inject Malware Into Apps Without Altering Signatures

Dec 09, 2017
Millions of Android devices are at serious risk of a newly disclosed critical vulnerability that allows attackers to secretly overwrite legitimate applications installed on your smartphone with their malicious versions. Dubbed Janus , the vulnerability allows attackers to modify the code of Android apps without affecting their signature verification certificates, eventually allowing them to distribute malicious update for the legitimate apps, which looks and works same as the original apps. The vulnerability ( CVE-2017-13156 ) was discovered and reported to Google by security researchers from mobile security firm GuardSquare this summer and has been patched by Google, among four dozen vulnerabilities, as part of its December Android Security Bulletin . However, the worrisome part is that majority of Android users would not receive these patches for next few month, until their device manufacturers (OEMs) release custom updates for them, apparently leaving a large number of sma
Hackers Could Turn LG Smart Appliances Into Remote-Controlled Spy Robot

Hackers Could Turn LG Smart Appliances Into Remote-Controlled Spy Robot

Oct 27, 2017
If your smart devices are smart enough to make your life easier, then their smart behaviour could also be exploited by hackers to invade your privacy or spy on you, if not secured properly. Recent research conducted by security researchers at threat prevention firm Check Point highlights privacy concern surrounding smart home devices manufactured by LG. Check Point researchers discovered a security vulnerability in LG SmartThinQ smart home devices that allowed them to hijack internet-connected devices like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, air conditioners, dryers, and washing machines manufactured by LG. ...and what's worse? Hackers could even remotely take control of LG's Hom-Bot, a camera-equipped robotic vacuum cleaner, and access the live video feed to spy on anything in the device's vicinity. This hack doesn't even require hacker and targeted device to be on the same network. Dubbed HomeHack , the vulnerability resides in the mobile app and cloud app
Google Play Store Launches Bug Bounty Program to Protect Popular Android Apps

Google Play Store Launches Bug Bounty Program to Protect Popular Android Apps

Oct 19, 2017
Better late than never. Google has finally launched a bug bounty program for Android apps on Google Play Store, inviting security researchers to find and report vulnerabilities in some of the most popular Android apps. Dubbed " Google Play Security Reward ," the bug bounty program offers security researchers to work directly with Android app developers to find and fix vulnerabilities in their apps, for which Google will pay $1000 in rewards. "The goal of the program is to further improve app security which will benefit developers, Android users, and the entire Google Play ecosystem," the technology giant says in a blog post published today. Google has collaborated with bug bounty platform, HackerOne, to manage backend for this program, like submitting reports and inviting white-hat hackers and researchers. White-hat hackers who wish to participate can submit their findings directly to the app developers. Once the security vulnerability has been resolved, th
First Android Malware Found Exploiting Dirty COW Linux Flaw to Gain Root Privileges

First Android Malware Found Exploiting Dirty COW Linux Flaw to Gain Root Privileges

Sep 26, 2017
Nearly a year after the disclosure of the Dirty COW vulnerability that affected the Linux kernel, cybercriminals have started exploiting the vulnerability against Android users, researchers have warned. Publicly disclosed last year in October, Dirty COW was present in a section of the Linux kernel—a part of virtually every Linux distribution, including Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu—for years and was actively exploited in the wild. The vulnerability allows an unprivileged local attacker to gain root access through a race condition issue, gain access to read-only root-owned executable files, and permit remote attacks. However, security researchers from Trend Micro published a blog post on Monday disclosing that the privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2016-5195), known as Dirty COW, has now been actively exploited by a malware sample of ZNIU, detected as AndroidOS_ZNIU. This is the first time we have seen a malware sample to contain an exploit for the vulnerability designed
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

Jul 13, 2017
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
Google Adds New Behavior-Based Malware Scanner To Every Android Device

Google Adds New Behavior-Based Malware Scanner To Every Android Device

May 20, 2017
In order to keep its billions of users safe, Google has introduced another security defense for its Android devices, called Google Play Protect . Google Play Protect , which is part of the Google Play Store app, uses machine learning and app usage analysis to weed out the dangerous and malicious apps, which have always been albatross around the tech giant's neck. Since Google Play Protect actually comes with the Google Play Store, users do not need to install or activate this security feature separately. Google Play Protect for Android devices consists: App scanning Anti-Theft Measures Browser Protection Play Protect's App Scanning Feature Google Play Protect is an always-on service on devices which said to scan 50 billion apps each day across a billion Android devices to ensure they are safe. Google already has a number of security measures in place to help keep your smartphones safe, including Verify Apps and its Bouncer service, but once apps are uploa
Google Won't Patch A Critical Android Flaw Before ‘Android O’ Release

Google Won't Patch A Critical Android Flaw Before 'Android O' Release

May 10, 2017
Millions of Android smartphones are at serious risk of "screen hijack" vulnerability that allows hackers to steal your passwords, bank details, as well as helps ransomware apps extort money from victims. The worse thing is that Google says it won't be patched until the release of 'Android O' version, which is scheduled for release in the 3rd quarter this year. And the worse, worse, worse thing is that millions of users are still waiting for Android N update from their device manufacturers (OEMs), which apparently means that majority of smartphone users will continue to be victimized by ransomware, adware and banking Trojans for at least next one year. According to CheckPoint security researchers, who discovered this critical flaw, the problem originates due to a new permission called " SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW ," which allows apps to overlap on a device's screen and top of other apps. This is the same feature that lets Facebook Messenger float
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

Nov 16, 2016
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
Over 300,000 Android Devices Hacked Using Chrome Browser Vulnerability

Over 300,000 Android Devices Hacked Using Chrome Browser Vulnerability

Nov 09, 2016
A vulnerability in Chrome for Android is actively being exploited in the wild that allows hackers to quietly download banking trojan apps (.apk) onto victim's' device without their confirmation. You might have encountered a pop-up advertisement that appears out of nowhere and surprise you that your mobile device has been infected with a dangerous virus and instructs you to install a security app to remove it immediately. This malicious advertising web page automatically downloads an Android app installation (.apk) file to your device without requiring any approval. Citing malware threats on your mobile device, attackers trick you to change your device's settings to allow installation of the third-party apps from stores other than Google Play Store and install the banking trojan app on your device. Kaspersky researchers Mikhail Kuzin and Nikita Buchka discovered one such widespread malicious advertising campaign across Russian news sites and popular websites. Since
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