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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: malicious apps

Dozens of Malicious Apps on Play Store can Root & Hack 90% of Android Devices

Dozens of Malicious Apps on Play Store can Root & Hack 90% of Android Devices
June 25, 2016Swati Khandelwal
It's not at all surprising that the Google Play Store is surrounded by a large number of malicious apps that has the ability to gain users' attention into falling victim for one, but this time, it is even worse than most people realize. Researchers at Trend Micro have detected a family of malicious apps, dubbed ' Godless ,' that has the capability of secretly rooting almost 90 percent of all Android phones. Well, that's slightly terrifying. The malicious apps are distributed via different methods and variety of app stores, including Google Play Store, which is usually considered as a safe option for downloading apps. Also Read:   Crazy hacker implants NFC Chip in his hand to hack Android phones . The malicious apps packed with Godless contain a collection of open-source or leaked Android rooting exploits that works on any device running Android 5.1 Lollipop or earlier. 90% Android Devices are Vulnerable to Godless Rooting Malware Since Android eco

Malicious Minecraft apps affect 600,000 Android Users

Malicious Minecraft apps affect 600,000 Android Users
May 26, 2015Mohit Kumar
So you love Minecraft ? You might want to be very careful before downloading the cheats for the popular Minecraft game from Google Play Store. Nearly 3 Million users have downloaded malicious Minecraft Android applications for their smartphone and tablets from the Google Play store, security researchers warned. The security researchers from IT security firm ESET have uncovered as many as 33 fake "scareware" applications that have been uploaded to the Google Play store in the course of the past 9 months, masquerading as Minecraft cheats and tip guides. These malicious applications have been downloaded between 660,000 and 2.8 million times. "All of the discovered apps were fake in that they did not contain any of the promised functionality and only displayed banners that tried to trick users into believing that their Android system is infected with a dangerous virus," ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko wrote in a blog post . Once downloaded, these mali

'Activate WhatsApp calling feature' Invite Scam Targeting Users with Malware

'Activate WhatsApp calling feature' Invite Scam Targeting Users with Malware
March 09, 2015Mohit Kumar
While WhatsApp is very reserved to its new calling feature, cyber scammers are targeting WhatsApp users across the world by circulating fake messages inviting users to activate the new ' WhatsApp calling feature for Android'  that infects their smartphones with malicious apps. If you receive an invitation message from any of your friend saying, "Hey, I'm inviting you to try WhatsApp Free Voice Calling feature, click here to activate now —> https://WhatsappCalling.com" ,  BEWARE! It is a Scam . The popular messaging app has begun rolling out its much-awaited Free Voice Calling feature — similar to other instant messaging apps like Skype and Viber — to Android users which allows users to make voice calls using Internet. However, for now, the free WhatsApp calling feature is invite-only and only appears to work for people running the latest version of WhatsApp app for Android on a Google Nexus 5 phone running the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop . H

Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads

Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads
February 04, 2015Swati Khandelwal
With the rise in mobile market, last year we have seen sharp growth in malicious ' adware ' — the most prevalent mobile threat in the world. And now, security researchers have once again found Google Play Store offering malicious apps that are infecting millions of Android users with adware . It's not at all surprising that the Android operating system is surrounded by a number of unwanted intrusions that may gain users' attention to fall victim for one, but this issue might be even worse than we thought. WHAT IS ADWARE ? For those not familiar with adware, adware is a software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material like banners or pop-ups when a user is online. Doesn't sound dangerous, Right? But adware could result in a serious threat to users. Android Adware can pose a major threat to users' privacy, since some ad networks gather personal information like phone number, email address, and many more. Depending on where the ad netwo

Billions of Android Devices Vulnerable to Privilege Escalation Except Android 5.0 Lollipop

Billions of Android Devices Vulnerable to Privilege Escalation Except Android 5.0 Lollipop
November 20, 2014Wang Wei
A security weakness in Android mobile operating system versions below 5.0 that puts potentially every Android device at risk for privilege escalation attacks, has been patched in  Android 5.0 Lollipop  – the latest version of the mobile operating system. The security vulnerability ( CVE-2014-7911 ), discovered by a security researcher named Jann Horn , could allow any potential attacker to bypass the Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) defense and execute arbitrary code of their choice on a target device under certain circumstances. ASLR is a technique involved in protection from buffer overflow attacks. The flaw resides in java.io.ObjectInputStream , which fails to check whether an Object that is being deserialized is actually a serializable object. The vulnerability was reported by the researcher to Google security team earlier this year. According to the security researcher, android apps can communicate with system_service, which runs under admin privileges

Masque Attack — New iOS Vulnerability Allows Hackers to Replace Apps with Malware

Masque Attack — New iOS Vulnerability Allows Hackers to Replace Apps with Malware
November 11, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Android have been a long time target for cyber criminals, but now it seems that they have turned their way towards iOS devices. Apple always says that hacking their devices is too difficult for cyber crooks, but a single app has made it possible for anyone to hack an iPhone. A security flaw in Apple's mobile iOS operating system has made most iPhones and iPads vulnerable to cyber attacks by hackers seeking access to sensitive data and control of their devices, security researchers warned. The details about this new vulnerability was published by the Cyber security firm FireEye on its blog on Monday, saying the flaw allows hackers to access devices by fooling users to download and install malicious iOS applications on their iPhone or iPad via tainted text messages, emails and Web links. MASQUE ATTACK - REPLACING TRUSTED APPS The malicious iOS apps can then be used to replace the legitimate apps, such as banking or social networking apps, that were installed thro

Fake Flappy Bird App Planted by Hackers to Steal Photos from Device

Fake Flappy Bird App Planted by Hackers to Steal Photos from Device
September 07, 2014Mohit Kumar
As far, you have probably heard about the biggest digital exposure of private and very personal nude photographs of as many as 100 female celebrities including Jenny McCarthy, Kristin Dunst, Mary E Winstead, and Oscar winner Lawrence and Kate Upton, that was surfaced on notorious bulletin-board 4chan, and anonymous image board AnonIB over the weekend. It was believed that the group of hackers allegedly taken celebrities photos from their Apple iCloud backups after their iCloud accounts were compromised, but users of devices running Google's Android could have been targeted too. A forum post on anonymous image board AnonIP shows that the group of hackers may have used a cloned Flappy Bird app to steal and collect the naked photos of females from their Android devices and then send them to remote servers. Experts believe that the group may have been stealing and trading nude and very personal photos of more than 100 female celebrities for more than two years, gather

Hacking Gmail App with 92 Percent Success Rate

Hacking Gmail App with 92 Percent Success Rate
August 23, 2014Mohit Kumar
A group of security researchers has successfully discovered a method to hack into six out of seven popular Smartphone apps, including Gmail across all the three platforms - Android , Windows, and iOS operating systems - with shockingly high success rate of up to 92 percent. Computer scientists the University of California Riverside Bourns College of Engineering and the University of Michigan have identified a new weakness they believe to exist in Android, Windows, and iOS platforms that could allow possibly be used by hackers to obtain users' personal information using malicious apps. The team of researchers - Zhiyun Qian , of the University of California, Riverside, and Z. Morley Mao and Qi Alfred Chen from the University of Michigan - will present its paper, " Peeking into Your App without Actually Seeing It: UI State Inference and Novel Android Attacks " ( PDF ), at the USENIX Security Symposium in San Diego on August 23. The paper detailed a new type of

Warning — Facebook Color Changer App is Just a Scam, Infects 10000 Users

Warning — Facebook Color Changer App is Just a Scam, Infects 10000 Users
August 09, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Scammers have again targeted more than one billion active users of the popular social networking giant Facebook, to infect as many victims as possible. This time, an old Facebook scam is back in action once again! Malicious Facebook "Color Changer" app has resurfaced again on the popular social networking site Facebook, this time compromising more than 10,000 people worldwide. The malicious app promises users to change the characteristic blue colour of Facebook's header and interface to one of nine other colours including pink, purple, green, yellow, orange and black, in order to infect users' phones and computers with malicious software. Researchers at China-based Internet company Cheetah Mobile have detected the " Facebook colour changer " that tricks Facebook users into downloading the app via a malicious phishing site. The phishing website targets users in two ways: First of all, it steals the users' Facebook Access Tokens by asking them

New Android Malware 'HijackRAT' Attacks Mobile Banking Users

New Android Malware 'HijackRAT' Attacks Mobile Banking Users
July 03, 2014Mohit Kumar
Cybercriminals have rolled out a new malicious Android application that wraps different varieties of banking fraud trick into a single piece of advanced mobile malware . GOOGLE SERVICE FRAMEWORK - APPLICATION OR MALWARE? Security researchers at the security firm FireEye have came across a malicious Android application that binds together the latest and older hijacking techniques. The malicious Android app combines private data theft, banking credential theft and spoofing, and remote access into a single unit, where traditional malware has had only one such capability included in it. Researchers dubbed the malware as HijackRAT , a banking trojan that comes loaded with a malicious Android application which disguises itself as "Google Service Framework," first and the most advanced Android malware sample of its kind ever discovered, combining all the three malicious activities together. MALWARE FEATURES By giving the remote control of the infected device to hackers,

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

Don't Fall for Fake Instagram Desktop Applications Offering 'Image Viewer'

Don't Fall for Fake Instagram Desktop Applications Offering 'Image Viewer'
May 08, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Today, the estimated number of known computer threats like viruses, worms, backdoors, exploits, Trojans, spyware, password stealers, and other variants of potentially unwanted software range into millions. It has ability to create several different forms of itself dynamically in order to thwart antimalware programs. Instagram users are also targeted by the potentially unwanted software programs that claims to enable them to download their Instagram photos and videos using desktop machines or computers. But once downloaded and installed into system, it could expose the user to a number of security vulnerabilities, often overlap with adware , warned the security firm Malwarebytes. " In the case of Instagram, what we've seen out there could pose greater risk than, say, your average phishing site, " said Malwarebytes intelligence analyst Jovi Umawing in a blog post . Instagram is a social networking service use for online photo-sharing and video-sharing. It

Facebook Introduces Anonymous Login to Limit Third-party App Permissions

Facebook Introduces Anonymous Login to Limit Third-party App Permissions
May 01, 2014Swati Khandelwal
We're comfortable in sharing information with our Facebook friends, but it is quite sneaky for Facebook users to offer their Identities and credentials when logging in to third-party apps , they don't trust. To deal with this issue, the social network giant has plans to improve the way users login to the third party apps with more privacy controls on the web as well as mobile devices. ANONYMOUS LOGIN At Facebook's F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Keynote speaker - Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the new Facebook's login tool, " Anonymous Login " that would let users sign into apps and websites anonymously without sharing their personal information-Biggest news for Facebook users. " Today, we want to do more to put control and power back into people's hands, " Zuckerberg said at the conference. " Up until now, your friends have been able to share your data via using apps. Now we're changing this, so every

Malicious Chrome Extension Hijacks CryptoCurrencies and Wallets

Malicious Chrome Extension Hijacks CryptoCurrencies and Wallets
April 25, 2014Wang Wei
Although the number of malicious browser extensions has significantly increased in the past years, but recently a new extension of the Google Chrome is allegedly targeting Cryptocurrency users that is capable of stealing Bitcoins and other crypto coins silently. The malicious Chrome browser extension dubbed as ' Cryptsy Dogecoin (DOGE) Live Ticker ' which is available on Chrome Web store for free downloads and developed by " TheTrollBox " account. Reddit user noticed that the updated version of the extension has a malicious code, which is designed to hijack the crypto currency transactions. HOW CHROME EXTENSION STEALS CRYPTOCURRENCY It is very obvious that the kind of crypto related software extensions is downloaded only by the users who deal with the digital currency. So, once the user installed the malicious extension, the software within the extension starts monitoring users' web activity and looks for those users who go to Cryptocurrency exchange sites s

Google Gives Refund to Thousands of Buyers Who Bought Bogus Android AntiVirus App

Google Gives Refund to Thousands of Buyers Who Bought Bogus Android AntiVirus App
April 22, 2014Wang Wei
About a week back we reported about a popular paid Antivirus application on the Google Play Store which was actually a scam, dubbed as ' Virus Shield '. This First paid fake app managed to become one of the most popular anti-virus app in less than a week, and apparently more than 10,000 Smartphones users purchased it in $3.99 from Google Play Store and hence scammed more than $40,000. The Virus Shield Android App claimed to protect users' personal information from harmful viruses, malware and spyware, but in actual app doesn't scan anything and was removed from the store once the fraud had been uncovered. If you were one that had downloaded the Virus Shield Antivirus app , then don't worry, just check your email inbox, because Google cares about you and reaching out all those affected android users who purchased the app, in order to refund their money in full. REFUND WITH $5 BONUS CREDIT According to Android Police , Google has decided to refund $3.99 back to us

Feedly Android App Javascript Injection vulnerability exposes Millions of Users to Hackers

Feedly Android App Javascript Injection vulnerability exposes Millions of Users to Hackers
April 20, 2014Swati Khandelwal
When it comes to Android apps, even the simplest app could greatly compromise your privacy and security. Injecting malicious JavaScript into Android applications has drawn an increased attention from the hacking community as its market share spikes. According to security researcher Jeremy S. from Singapore, a critical vulnerability in the Feedly app left millions of android app users vulnerable to the JavaScript infections. Feedly is a very popular app available for iOS and Android devices, also integrated into hundreds of other third party apps, which offers its users to browse the content of their favourite blogs, magazines, websites and more at one place via RSS feed subscriptions. According to Google Play Store, more than 5 Million users have installed Feedly app into their Android devices. In a blogpost , the researcher reported that Feedly is vulnerable to JavaScript injection attack, which is originally referred as 'cross-site scripting' or XSS vulnerability, allows

Warning: Malware Campaign targeting Jailbroken Apple iOS Devices

Warning: Malware Campaign targeting Jailbroken Apple iOS Devices
April 19, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A new piece of malicious malware infection targeting jailbroken Apple iOS devices in an attempt to steal users' credentials, has been discovered by Reddit users. The Reddit Jailbreak community discovered the malicious infection dubbed as ' Unflod Baby Panda ', on some jailbroken Apple iOS devices on Thursday while a user noticed an unusual activity that the file was causing apps such as Snapchat and Google Hangouts to crash constantly on his jailbroken iPhone. CHINA WANTS YOUR APPLE ID & PASSWORDS Soon after the jailbroken developer uncovered the mysteries ' Unfold.dylib ' file and found that the infection targets jailbroken iOS handsets to captures Apple IDs and passwords from Internet sessions that use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt communications and is believed to be spreading through the Chinese iOS software sites, according to the researchers at German security firm SektionEins . The researchers found that the captured login information is been sent
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