The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: mobile security

Overview of Top Mobile Security Threats in 2022

Overview of Top Mobile Security Threats in 2022

June 28, 2022The Hacker News
Your smartphone is your daily companion. The chances are that most of our activities rely on them, from ordering food to booking medical appointments. However, the threat landscape always reminds us how vulnerable smartphones can be.  Consider the recent  discovery by Oversecured , a security startup. These experts observed the dynamic code loading and its potential dangers. Why is this a problem? Well, the Google app uses code that does not come integrated with the app itself. Okay, this might sound confusing, but it all works in favor of optimizing certain processes. Thus, Google exploits code libraries pre-installed on Android phones to reduce their download size. In fact, many Android apps use this trick to optimize the storage space needed to run.  As revealed by Oversecured, perpetrators could compromise this retrieval of code from libraries. Instead of Google obtaining code from a reliable source, it could be tricked into taking code from malicious apps operating on the devic
BRATA Android Malware Gains Advanced Mobile Threat Capabilities

BRATA Android Malware Gains Advanced Mobile Threat Capabilities

June 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators behind  BRATA  have once again added more capabilities to the Android mobile malware in an attempt to make their attacks against financial apps more stealthy. "In fact, the modus operandi now fits into an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) activity pattern," Italian cybersecurity firm Cleafy  said  in a report last week. "This term is used to describe an attack campaign in which criminals establish a long-term presence on a targeted network to steal sensitive information." An acronym for "Brazilian Remote Access Tool Android," BRATA was first  detected  in the wild in Brazil in late 2018, before making its first appearance in Europe last April, while masquerading as antivirus software and other common productivity tools to trick users into downloading them. The change in the attack pattern, which scaled new highs in early April 2022, involves tailoring the malware to strike a specific financial institution at a time, switching to a differe
Critical UNISOC Chip Vulnerability Affects Millions of Android Smartphones

Critical UNISOC Chip Vulnerability Affects Millions of Android Smartphones

June 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A critical security flaw has been uncovered in UNISOC's smartphone chipset that could be potentially weaponized to disrupt a smartphone's radio communications through a malformed packet. "Left unpatched, a hacker or a military unit can leverage such a vulnerability to neutralize communications in a specific location," Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The vulnerability is in the modem firmware, not in the Android OS itself." UNISOC, a semiconductor company based in Shanghai, is the world's fourth-largest mobile processor manufacturer after Mediatek, Qualcomm, and Apple, accounting for 10% of all SoC shipments in Q3 2021, according to  Counterpoint Research . The now-patched issue has been assigned the identifier CVE-2022-20210 and is rated 9.4 out of 10 for severity on the CVSS vulnerability scoring system. In a nutshell, the vulnerability — discovered following a reverse-engineering of UNISOC
Microsoft Finds Critical Bugs in Pre-Installed Apps on Millions of Android Devices

Microsoft Finds Critical Bugs in Pre-Installed Apps on Millions of Android Devices

May 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Four high severity vulnerabilities have been disclosed in a framework used by pre-installed Android System apps with millions of downloads. The issues, now fixed by its Israeli developer MCE Systems, could have potentially allowed threat actors to stage remote and local attacks or be abused as vectors to obtain sensitive information by taking advantage of their extensive system privileges. "As it is with many of pre-installed or default applications that most Android devices come with these days, some of the affected apps cannot be fully uninstalled or disabled without gaining root access to the device," the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team  said  in a report published Friday. The weaknesses, which range from command-injection to local privilege escalation, have been assigned the identifiers CVE-2021-42598, CVE-2021-42599, CVE-2021-42600, and CVE-2021-42601, with CVSS scores between 7.0 and 8.9. Command injection proof-of-concept (POC) exploit code Injecting a simil
Attackers Can Use Electromagnetic Signals to Control Touchscreens Remotely

Attackers Can Use Electromagnetic Signals to Control Touchscreens Remotely

May 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have demonstrated what they call the "first active contactless attack against capacitive touchscreens." GhostTouch , as it's called, "uses electromagnetic interference (EMI) to inject fake touch points into a touchscreen without the need to physically touch it," a group of academics from Zhejiang University and Technical University of Darmstadt  said  in a new research paper. The core idea is to take advantage of the electromagnetic signals to execute basic touch events such as taps and swipes into targeted locations of the touchscreen with the goal of taking over remote control and manipulating the underlying device. The attack, which works from a distance of up to 40mm, hinges on the fact that  capacitive touchscreens  are sensitive to EMI, leveraging it to inject electromagnetic signals into transparent electrodes that are built into the touchscreen so as to register them as touch events. The experimental setup involves an electrostatic gun
Experts Uncover Campaign Stealing Cryptocurrency from Android and iPhone Users

Experts Uncover Campaign Stealing Cryptocurrency from Android and iPhone Users

March 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have blown the lid off a sophisticated malicious scheme primarily targeting Chinese users via copycat apps on Android and iOS that mimic legitimate digital wallet services to siphon cryptocurrency funds. "These malicious apps were able to steal victims' secret seed phrases by impersonating Coinbase, imToken, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Bitpie, TokenPocket, or OneKey,"  said  Lukáš Štefanko, senior malware researcher at ESET in a report shared with The Hacker News. The wallet services are said to have been distributed through a network of over 40 counterfeit wallet websites that are promoted with the help of misleading articles posted on legitimate Chinese websites, as well as by means of recruiting intermediaries through Telegram and Facebook groups, in an attempt to trick unsuspecting visitors into downloading the malicious apps. ESET, which has been tracking the campaign since May 2021, attributed it to the work of a single criminal group. The trojanized cr
TeaBot Android Banking Malware Spreads Again Through Google Play Store Apps

TeaBot Android Banking Malware Spreads Again Through Google Play Store Apps

March 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An Android banking trojan designed to steal credentials and SMS messages has been observed once again sneaking past Google Play Store protections to target users of more than 400 banking and financial apps, including those from Russia, China, and the U.S. "TeaBot RAT capabilities are achieved via the device screen's live streaming (requested on-demand) plus the abuse of Accessibility Services for remote interaction and key-logging," Cleafy researchers  said  in a report. "This enables Threat Actors (TAs) to perform ATO (Account Takeover) directly from the compromised phone, also known as 'On-device fraud.'" Also known by the names Anatsa and Toddler, TeaBot first  emerged  in May 2021, camouflaging its malicious functions by posing as seemingly innocuous PDF document and QR code scanner apps that are distributed via the official Google Play Store instead of third-party apps stores or via fraudulent websites. Further research published by Swiss cyber
Google to Auto-Reset Unused Android App Permissions for Billions of Devices

Google to Auto-Reset Unused Android App Permissions for Billions of Devices

September 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google on Friday said it's bringing an Android 11 feature that auto-resets permissions granted to apps that haven't been used in months, to devices running Android versions 6 and above. The expansion is expected to go live later this year in December 2021 and enabled on Android phones with Google Play services running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher, which the company said should cover "billions more devices." Google officially released Android 6.0 Marshmallow on October 5, 2015. With Android 11 that came out last year, the internet giant introduced a permission auto-reset option that helps improve user privacy by automatically resetting an app's permissions to access sensitive features like storage or camera if the app in question is left unopened for a few months. "Some apps and permissions are automatically exempted from revocation, like active Device Administrator apps used by enterprises, and permissions fixed by enterprise policy," Google
3 Ways to Secure SAP SuccessFactors and Stay Compliant

3 Ways to Secure SAP SuccessFactors and Stay Compliant

September 08, 2021The Hacker News
The work-from-anywhere economy has opened up the possibility for your human resources team to source the best talent from anywhere. To scale their operations, organizations are leveraging the cloud to accelerate essential HR functions such as recruiting, onboarding, evaluating, and more. SAP is leading this HR transformation with its human capital management (HCM) solution, SAP SuccessFactors. Delivering HR solutions from the cloud enables employees and administrators to not only automate typical tasks, such as providing a report on employee attrition, but also allows them to complete these tasks from anywhere and on any device. SuccessFactors makes it easy for employees to access what they need. But the wide range of sensitive employee data within SuccessFactors creates additional security and compliance challenges. Whether it's personal and financial information used for payroll or health information for benefits, you need the right cybersecurity to ensure that sensitive data,
New API Lets App Developers Authenticate Users via SIM Cards

New API Lets App Developers Authenticate Users via SIM Cards

June 29, 2021The Hacker News
Online account creation poses a challenge for engineers and system architects: if you put up too many barriers, you risk turning away genuine users. Make it too easy, and you risk fraud or fake accounts. The Problem with Identity Verification The traditional model of online identity – username/email and password – has long outlived its usefulness. This is how multi-factor or two-factor authentication (MFA or 2FA) has come into play, to patch up vulnerabilities of the so-called knowledge-based model, usually by SMS passcode to verify possession of a mobile phone number. The simplicity of SMS-based verification has taken apps by storm – it's the default option, as most users have a mobile phone. Yet bad actors have learned how to exploit this verification method, leading to the menace of  SIM swap fraud , which is alarmingly easy to pull off and rising rapidly in incidents. There's been no lack of effort in finding a more secure factor that is still universal. For example, b
Hackers Can Exploit Samsung Pre-Installed Apps to Spy On Users

Hackers Can Exploit Samsung Pre-Installed Apps to Spy On Users

June 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Multiple critical security flaws have been disclosed in Samsung's pre-installed Android apps, which, if successfully exploited, could have allowed adversaries access to personal data without users' consent and take control of the devices.  "The impact of these bugs could have allowed an attacker to access and edit the victim's contacts, calls, SMS/MMS, install arbitrary apps with device administrator rights, or read and write arbitrary files on behalf of a system user which could change the device's settings," Sergey Toshin, founder of mobile security startup Oversecured,  said  in an analysis published Thursday. Toshin reported the flaws to Samsung in February 2021, following which  patches were issued  by the manufacturer as part of its monthly security updates for April and May. The list of the seven vulnerabilities is as follows - CVE-2021-25356  - Third-party authentication bypass in Managed Provisioning CVE-2021-25388  - Arbitrary app installation
4 Major Privacy and Security Updates From Google You Should Know About

4 Major Privacy and Security Updates From Google You Should Know About

May 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has announced a number of user-facing and under-the-hood changes in an attempt to boost privacy and security, including rolling out two-factor authentication automatically to all eligible users and bringing iOS-styled privacy labels to Android app listings. "Today we ask people who have enrolled in  two-step verification  (2SV) to confirm it's really them with a simple tap via a Google prompt on their phone whenever they sign in," the company  said . "Soon we'll start automatically enrolling users in 2SV if their accounts are appropriately configured." Google Play To Get Apple-Like Privacy Labels The Google Play Store for Android is also getting a huge overhaul on the privacy front. The search giant said it plans to include a new  safety section  for app listings that highlights the type of data being collected and stored — such as approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information, photos and videos, and audio files — and how the dat
New Study Warns of Security Threats Linked to Recycled Phone Numbers

New Study Warns of Security Threats Linked to Recycled Phone Numbers

May 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new academic study has highlighted a number of privacy and security pitfalls associated with recycling mobile phone numbers that could be abused to stage a variety of exploits, including account takeovers, conduct phishing and spam attacks, and even prevent victims from signing up for online services. Nearly 66% of the recycled numbers that were sampled were found to be tied to previous owners' online accounts at popular websites, potentially enabling account hijacks by simply recovering the accounts tied to those numbers. "An attacker can cycle through the available numbers shown on online number change interfaces and check if any of them are associated with online accounts of previous owners," the researchers  said . If so, the attacker can then obtain these numbers and reset the password on the accounts, and receive and correctly enter the OTP sent via SMS upon login." The findings are part of an analysis of a sample of 259 phone numbers available to new su
Over 40 Apps With More Than 100 Million Installs Found Leaking AWS Keys

Over 40 Apps With More Than 100 Million Installs Found Leaking AWS Keys

May 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Most mobile app users tend to blindly trust that the apps they download from app stores are safe and secure. But that isn't always the case. To demonstrate the pitfalls and identify vulnerabilities on a large scale, cybersecurity and machine intelligence company CloudSEK recently provided a platform called  BeVigil  where individuals can search and check app security ratings and other security issues before installing an app. A latest  report  shared with The Hacker News detailed how the BeVigil search engine identified over 40 apps - with more than a cumulative 100 million downloads - that had hardcoded private Amazon Web Services (AWS) keys embedded within them, putting their internal networks and their users' data at risk of cyberattacks. BeVigil finds popular apps leaking AWS keys The AWS key leakage was spotted in some of the major apps such as Adobe Photoshop Fix, Adobe Comp, Hootsuite, IBM's Weather Channel, and online shopping services Club Factory and Wholee.
BRATA Malware Poses as Android Security Scanners on Google Play Store

BRATA Malware Poses as Android Security Scanners on Google Play Store

April 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new set of malicious Android apps have been caught posing as app security scanners on the official Play Store to distribute a backdoor capable of gathering sensitive information. "These malicious apps urge users to update Chrome, WhatsApp, or a PDF reader, yet instead of updating the app in question, they take full control of the device by abusing accessibility services," cybersecurity firm McAfee  said  in an analysis published on Monday. The apps in question were designed to target users in Brazil, Spain, and the U.S., with most of them accruing anywhere between 1,000 to 5,000 installs. Another app named DefenseScreen racked up 10,000 installs before it was removed from the Play Store last year. First documented by Kaspersky in August 2019,  BRATA  (short for "Brazilian Remote Access Tool Android") emerged as an Android malware with screen recording abilities before steadily morphing into a banking trojan. "It combines full device control capabilitie
Hackers Tampered With APKPure Store to Distribute Malware Apps

Hackers Tampered With APKPure Store to Distribute Malware Apps

April 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
APKPure, one of the largest alternative app stores outside of the Google Play Store, was infected with malware this week, allowing threat actors to distribute Trojans to Android devices. In a supply-chain attack similar to that of German telecommunications  equipment manufacturer Gigaset , the APKPure client version 3.17.18 is said to have been tampered with in an attempt to trick unsuspecting users into downloading and installing malicious applications linked to the malicious code built into the APKpure app. The development was reported by researchers from  Doctor Web  and  Kaspersky . "This trojan belongs to the dangerous Android.Triada malware family capable of downloading, installing and uninstalling software without users' permission," Doctor Web researchers said. According to Kaspersky, the APKPure version 3.17.18 was tweaked to incorporate an advertisement SDK that acts as a Trojan dropper designed to deliver other malware to a victim's device. "This
Gigaset Android Update Server Hacked to Install Malware on Users' Devices

Gigaset Android Update Server Hacked to Install Malware on Users' Devices

April 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Gigaset has revealed a malware infection discovered in its Android devices was the result of a compromise of a server belonging to an external update service provider. Impacting older smartphone models — GS100, GS160, GS170, GS180, GS270 (plus), and GS370 (plus) series — the malware took the form of multiple  unwanted apps  that were downloaded and installed through a pre-installed system update app. The infections are said to have occurred starting  March 27 . The German manufacturer of telecommunications devices said it took steps to alert the update service provider of the issue, following which further infections were prevented on April 7. "Measures have been taken to automatically rid infected devices of the malware. In order for this to happen the devices must be connected to the internet (WLAN, WiFi or mobile data). We also recommend connecting the devices to their chargers. Affected devices should automatically be freed from the malware within 8 hours," the comp
Google limits which apps can access the list of installed apps on your device

Google limits which apps can access the list of installed apps on your device

April 02, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apps on Android have been able to infer the presence of specific apps, or even collect the full list of installed apps on the device. What's more, an app can also set to be notified when a new app is installed. Apart from all the usual concerns about misuse of such a data grab, the information can be abused by a potentially harmful app to fingerprint other installed apps, check for the  presence of antivirus ,  affiliate fraud , and even for targeted ads.  In 2014, Twitter  began  tracking the list of apps installed on users' devices as part of its "app graph" initiative with an aim to deliver tailored content. Digital wallet company MobiKwik was also caught  collecting information  about installed apps in the wake of a data breach that came to light earlier this week. Indeed, a study undertaken by a group of Swiss researchers in 2019  found  that "free apps are more likely to query for such information and that third-party libraries (libs) are the main requ
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.