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Chinese-Linked LightSpy iOS Spyware Targets South Asian iPhone Users

Chinese-Linked LightSpy iOS Spyware Targets South Asian iPhone Users

Apr 15, 2024 Spyware / Mobile Security
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a "renewed" cyber espionage campaign targeting users in South Asia with the aim of delivering an Apple iOS spyware implant called  LightSpy . "The latest iteration of LightSpy, dubbed 'F_Warehouse,' boasts a modular framework with extensive spying features," the BlackBerry Threat Research and Intelligence Team  said  in a report published last week. There is evidence to suggest that the campaign may have targeted India based on  VirusTotal   submissions  from within its borders. First documented in 2020 by Trend Micro and Kaspersky,  LightSpy  refers to an advanced iOS backdoor that's distributed via watering hole attacks through compromised news sites. A subsequent analysis from ThreatFabric in October 2023  uncovered  infrastructure and functionality overlaps between the malware and DragonEgg, a fully-featured Android spyware attributed to the Chinese nation-state group APT41 (aka Winnti). The initial in
'eXotic Visit' Spyware Campaign Targets Android Users in India and Pakistan

'eXotic Visit' Spyware Campaign Targets Android Users in India and Pakistan

Apr 10, 2024 Mobile Security / Spyware
An active Android malware campaign dubbed eXotic Visit has been primarily targeting users in South Asia, particularly those in India and Pakistan, with malware distributed via dedicated websites and Google Play Store. Slovak cybersecurity firm said the activity, ongoing since November 2021, is not linked to any known threat actor or group. It's tracking the group behind the operation under the name  Virtual Invaders . "Downloaded apps provide legitimate functionality, but also include code from the open-source Android  XploitSPY RAT ," ESET security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said  in a technical report released today. The campaign is said to be highly targeted in nature, with the apps available on Google Play having negligible number of installs ranging from zero to 45. The apps have since been taken down. The fake-but-functional apps primarily masquerade as messaging services like Alpha Chat, ChitChat, Defcom, Dink Messenger, Signal Lite, TalkU, WeTalk, Wicker Mes
Hands-on Review: Cynomi AI-powered vCISO Platform

Hands-on Review: Cynomi AI-powered vCISO Platform

Apr 10, 2024vCISO / Risk Assessment
The need for vCISO services is growing. SMBs and SMEs are dealing with more third-party risks, tightening regulatory demands and stringent cyber insurance requirements than ever before. However, they often lack the resources and expertise to hire an in-house security executive team. By outsourcing security and compliance leadership to a vCISO, these organizations can more easily obtain cybersecurity expertise specialized for their industry and strengthen their cybersecurity posture. MSPs and MSSPs looking to meet this growing vCISO demand are often faced with the same challenge. The demand for cybersecurity talent far exceeds the supply. This has led to a competitive market where the costs of hiring and retaining skilled professionals can be prohibitive for MSSPs/MSPs as well. The need to maintain expertise of both security and compliance further exacerbates this challenge. Cynomi, the first AI-driven vCISO platform , can help. Cynomi enables you - MSPs, MSSPs and consulting firms
Google Sues App Developers Over Fake Crypto Investment App Scam

Google Sues App Developers Over Fake Crypto Investment App Scam

Apr 08, 2024 Investment Scam / Mobile Security
Google has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against two app developers for allegedly engaging in an "international online consumer investment fraud scheme" that tricked users into downloading bogus Android apps from the Google Play Store and other sources and stealing their funds under the guise of promising higher returns. The individuals in question are Yunfeng Sun (aka Alphonse Sun) and Hongnam Cheung (aka Zhang Hongnim or Stanford Fischer), who are believed to be based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, respectively. The defendants are said to have uploaded about 87 crypto apps to the Play Store to pull off the social engineering scam since at least 2019, with over 100,000 users downloading them and leading to substantial financial losses. "The gains conveyed by the apps were illusory," the tech giant said in its complaint. "And the scheme did not end there." "Instead, when individual victims attempted to withdraw their balances, defendants and their co
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WATCH: The SaaS Security Challenge in 90 Seconds

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Discover how you can overcome the SaaS security challenge by securing your entire SaaS stack with SSPM.
Google Warns: Android Zero-Day Flaws in Pixel Phones Exploited by Forensic Companies

Google Warns: Android Zero-Day Flaws in Pixel Phones Exploited by Forensic Companies

Apr 03, 2024 Mobile Security / Zero Day
Google has disclosed that two Android security flaws impacting its Pixel smartphones have been exploited in the wild by forensic companies. The high-severity zero-day vulnerabilities are as follows - CVE-2024-29745  - An information disclosure flaw in the bootloader component CVE-2024-29748  - A privilege escalation flaw in the firmware component "There are indications that the [vulnerabilities] may be under limited, targeted exploitation," Google  said  in an advisory published April 2, 2024. While the tech giant did not reveal any other information about the nature of the attacks exploiting these shortcomings, the maintainers of GrapheneOS said they "are being actively exploited in the wild by forensic companies." "CVE-2024-29745 refers to a vulnerability in the fastboot firmware used to support unlocking/flashing/locking," they  said  in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter). "Forensic companies are rebooting devices in After First U
Malicious Apps Caught Secretly Turning Android Phones into Proxies for Cybercriminals

Malicious Apps Caught Secretly Turning Android Phones into Proxies for Cybercriminals

Apr 01, 2024 Botnet / Mobile Security
Several malicious Android apps that turn mobile devices running the operating system into residential proxies (RESIPs) for other threat actors have been observed on the Google Play Store. The findings come from HUMAN's Satori Threat Intelligence team, which said the cluster of VPN apps came fitted with a Golang library that transformed the user's device into a proxy node without their knowledge. The operation has been codenamed  PROXYLIB  by the company. The 29 apps in question have since been removed by Google. Residential proxies are a network of proxy servers sourced from real IP addresses provided by internet service providers (ISPs), helping users hide their actual IP addresses by routing their internet traffic through an intermediary server. The anonymity benefits aside, they are ripe for abuse by threat actors to not only obfuscate their origins, but also to conduct a wide range of attacks. "When a threat actor uses a residential proxy, the traffic from these
Vultur Android Banking Trojan Returns with Upgraded Remote Control Capabilities

Vultur Android Banking Trojan Returns with Upgraded Remote Control Capabilities

Apr 01, 2024 Mobile Security / Data Privacy
The Android banking trojan known as Vultur has resurfaced with a suite of new features and improved anti-analysis and detection evasion techniques, enabling its operators to remotely interact with a mobile device and harvest sensitive data. "Vultur has also started masquerading more of its malicious activity by encrypting its C2 communication, using multiple encrypted payloads that are decrypted on the fly, and using the guise of legitimate applications to carry out its malicious actions," NCC Group researcher Joshua Kamp  said  in a report published last week. Vultur was  first disclosed  in early 2021, with the malware capable of leveraging Android's accessibility services APIs to execute its malicious actions. The malware has been observed to be  distributed via trojanized dropper apps  on the Google Play Store, masquerading as authenticator and productivity apps to trick unwitting users into installing them. These dropper apps are offered as part of a dropper-as-a
PixPirate Android Banking Trojan Using New Evasion Tactic to Target Brazilian Users

PixPirate Android Banking Trojan Using New Evasion Tactic to Target Brazilian Users

Mar 13, 2024 Financial Fraud / Mobile Security
The threat actors behind the PixPirate Android banking trojan are leveraging a new trick to evade detection on compromised devices and harvest sensitive information from users in Brazil. The approach allows it to hide the malicious app's icon from the home screen of the victim's device, IBM said in a technical report published today. "Thanks to this new technique, during PixPirate reconnaissance and attack phases, the victim remains oblivious to the malicious operations that this malware performs in the background," security researcher Nir Somech  said . PixPirate, which was  first documented  by Cleafy in February 2023, is known for its abuse of Android's accessibility services to covertly perform unauthorized fund transfers using the PIX instant payment platform when a targeted banking app is opened. The constantly mutating malware is also capable of stealing victims' online banking credentials and credit card information, as well as capturing keystrokes and intercepting SMS mes
New Banking Trojan CHAVECLOAK Targets Brazilian Users via Phishing Tactics

New Banking Trojan CHAVECLOAK Targets Brazilian Users via Phishing Tactics

Mar 11, 2024 Phishing Attack / Mobile Security
Users in Brazil are the target of a new banking trojan known as  CHAVECLOAK  that's propagated via phishing emails bearing PDF attachments. "This intricate attack involves the PDF downloading a ZIP file and subsequently utilizing DLL side-loading techniques to execute the final malware," Fortinet FortiGuard Labs researcher Cara Lin  said . The attack chain involves the use of contract-themed DocuSign lures to trick users into opening PDF files containing a button to read and sign the documents. In reality, clicking the button leads to the retrieval of an installer file from a remote link that's shortened using the Goo.su URL shortening service. Present within the installer is an executable named "Lightshot.exe" that leverages DLL side-loading to load "Lightshot.dll," which is the CHAVECLOAK malware that facilitates the theft of sensitive information. This includes gathering system metadata and running checks to determine whether the compromis
How Cybercriminals are Exploiting India's UPI for Money Laundering Operations

How Cybercriminals are Exploiting India's UPI for Money Laundering Operations

Mar 04, 2024 Cybercrime / Mobile Security
Cybercriminals are using a network of hired money mules in India using an Android-based application to orchestrate a massive money laundering scheme. The malicious application, called  XHelper , is a "key tool for onboarding and managing these money mules," CloudSEK researchers Sparsh Kulshrestha, Abhishek Mathew, and Santripti Bhujel  said  in a report. Details about the scam  first emerged  in late October 2023, when Chinese cyber criminals were found to take advantage of the fact that Indian Unified Payments Interface ( UPI ) service providers operate without coverage under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to initiate illegal transactions under the guise of offering an instant loan. The ill-gotten proceeds from the operation are transferred to other accounts belonging to hired mules, who are recruited from Telegram in return for commissions ranging from 1-2% of the total transaction amounts. "Central to this operation are Chinese payment gateways ex
New Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Expose Android and Linux Devices to Hackers

New Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Expose Android and Linux Devices to Hackers

Feb 21, 2024 Network Security / Vulnerability
Cybersecurity researchers have identified two authentication bypass flaws in open-source Wi-Fi software found in Android, Linux, and ChromeOS devices that could trick users into joining a malicious clone of a legitimate network or allow an attacker to join a trusted network without a password. The vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2023-52160 and CVE-2023-52161, have been discovered following a security evaluation of  wpa_supplicant  and Intel's iNet Wireless Daemon ( IWD ), respectively. The flaws "allow attackers to trick victims into connecting to malicious clones of trusted networks and intercept their traffic, and join otherwise secure networks without needing the password," Top10VPN  said  in a new research conducted in collaboration with Mathy Vanhoef, who has previously uncovered Wi-Fi attacks like  KRACK ,  DragonBlood , and  TunnelCrack . CVE-2023-52161, in particular, permits an adversary to gain unauthorized access to a protected Wi-Fi network, exposing exis
Meta Warns of 8 Spyware Firms Targeting iOS, Android, and Windows Devices

Meta Warns of 8 Spyware Firms Targeting iOS, Android, and Windows Devices

Feb 19, 2024 Mobile Security / Cyber Espionage
Meta Platforms said it took a series of steps to curtail malicious activity from eight different firms based in Italy, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) operating in the surveillance-for-hire industry. The findings are part of its  Adversarial Threat Report  for the fourth quarter of 2023. The spyware targeted iOS, Android, and Windows devices. "Their various malware included capabilities to collect and access device information, location, photos and media, contacts, calendar, email, SMS, social media, and messaging apps, and enable microphone,camera, and screenshot functionality," the company said. The eight companies are Cy4Gate/ELT Group, RCS Labs, IPS Intelligence, Variston IT, TrueL IT, Protect Electronic Systems, Negg Group, and Mollitiam Industries. These firms, per Meta, also engaged in scraping, social engineering, and phishing activity that targeted a wide range of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, Skype, GitHub, R
Anatsa Android Trojan Bypasses Google Play Security, Expands Reach to New Countries

Anatsa Android Trojan Bypasses Google Play Security, Expands Reach to New Countries

Feb 19, 2024 Malware / Mobile Security
The Android banking trojan known as  Anatsa  has expanded its focus to include Slovakia, Slovenia, and Czechia as part of a new campaign observed in November 2023. "Some of the droppers in the campaign successfully exploited the accessibility service, despite Google Play's enhanced detection and protection mechanisms," ThreatFabric  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "All droppers in this campaign have demonstrated the capability to bypass the restricted settings for accessibility service in Android 13." The campaign, in total, involves five droppers with more than 100,000 total installations. Also known by the name TeaBot and Toddler, Anatsa is known to be distributed under the guise of seemingly innocuous apps on the Google Play Store. These apps, called droppers, facilitate the installation of the malware by circumventing security measures imposed by Google that seek to grant sensitive permissions. In June 2023, the Dutch mobile security firm
MoqHao Android Malware Evolves with Auto-Execution Capability

MoqHao Android Malware Evolves with Auto-Execution Capability

Feb 09, 2024 Mobile Security / Cyber Threat
Threat hunters have identified a new variant of Android malware called  MoqHao  that automatically executes on infected devices without requiring any user interaction. "Typical MoqHao requires users to install and launch the app to get their desired purpose, but this new variant requires no execution," McAfee Labs  said  in a report published this week. "While the app is installed, their malicious activity starts automatically." The campaign's targets include Android users located in France, Germany, India, Japan, and South Korea. MoqHao, also called Wroba and XLoader (not to be confused with the  Windows and macOS malware  of the same name), is an Android-based mobile threat that's associated with a Chinese financially motivated cluster dubbed  Roaming Mantis  (aka Shaoye). Typical  attack chains  commence with package delivery-themed SMS messages bearing fraudulent links that, when clicked from Android devices, lead to the deployment of the malware b
Google Starts Blocking Sideloading of Potentially Dangerous Android Apps in Singapore

Google Starts Blocking Sideloading of Potentially Dangerous Android Apps in Singapore

Feb 08, 2024 Data Protection / Mobile Securit
Google has unveiled a new pilot program in Singapore that aims to prevent users from sideloading certain apps that abuse Android app permissions to read one-time passwords and gather sensitive data. "This enhanced fraud protection will analyze and automatically block the installation of apps that may use sensitive runtime permissions frequently abused for financial fraud when the user attempts to install the app from an Internet-sideloading source (web browsers, messaging apps or file managers)," the company  said . The feature is designed to examine the permissions declared by a third-party app in real-time and look for those that seek to gain access to sensitive permissions associated with reading SMS messages, deciphering or dismissing notifications from legitimate apps, and accessibility services that have been  routinely   abused  by Android-based malware for  extracting valuable information . As part of the test, users in Singapore who attempt to sideload such apps
Patchwork Using Romance Scam Lures to Infect Android Devices with VajraSpy Malware

Patchwork Using Romance Scam Lures to Infect Android Devices with VajraSpy Malware

Feb 05, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Extortion
The threat actor known as Patchwork likely used romance scam lures to trap victims in Pakistan and India, and infect their Android devices with a remote access trojan called  VajraSpy . Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET said it uncovered 12 espionage apps, six of which were available for download from the official Google Play Store and were collectively downloaded more than 1,400 times between April 2021 and March 2023. "VajraSpy has a range of espionage functionalities that can be expanded based on the permissions granted to the app bundled with its code," security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said . "It steals contacts, files, call logs, and SMS messages, but some of its implementations can even extract WhatsApp and Signal messages, record phone calls, and take pictures with the camera." As many as 148 devices in Pakistan and India are estimated to have been compromised in the wild. The malicious apps distributed via Google Play and elsewhere primarily masqueraded
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