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Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram

Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram

July 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
If you think that the media files you receive on your end-to-end encrypted secure messaging apps can not be tampered with, you need to think again. Security researchers at Symantec yesterday demonstrated multiple interesting attack scenarios against WhatsApp and Telegram Android apps, which could allow malicious actors to spread fake news or scam users into sending payments to wrong accounts. Dubbed " Media File Jacking ," the attack leverages an already known fact that any app installed on a device can access and rewrite files saved in the external storage, including files saved by other apps installed on the same device. WhatsApp and Telegram allow users to choose if they want to save all incoming multimedia files on internal or external storage of their device. However, WhatsApp for Android by default automatically stores media files in the external storage, while Telegram for Android uses internal storage to store users files that are not accessible to any othe
New Malware Replaced Legit Android Apps With Fake Ones On 25 Million Devices

New Malware Replaced Legit Android Apps With Fake Ones On 25 Million Devices

July 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Are you sure the WhatsApp app you are using on your Android device is legitimate, even if it's working perfectly as intended? ...Or the JioTV, AppLock, HotStar, Flipkart, Opera Mini or Truecaller app—if you have installed any of these? I'm asking this because cybersecurity researchers just yesterday revealed eye-opening details about a widespread Android malware campaign wherein attackers silently replaced installed legitimate apps with their malicious versions on nearly 25 million mobile phones. Now the important question here is how they're doing it and why? According to researchers at Check Point, attackers are distributing a new kind of Android malware that disguises itself as innocent-looking photo editing, adult entertainment, or gaming apps and available through widely used third-party app stores. Dubbed Agent Smith , the malware takes advantage of multiple Android vulnerabilities, such as the  Janus flaw and the Man-in-the-Disk flaw , and injects malic
Over 1,300 Android Apps Caught Collecting Data Even If You Deny Permissions

Over 1,300 Android Apps Caught Collecting Data Even If You Deny Permissions

July 09, 2019Mohit Kumar
Smartphones are a goldmine of sensitive data, and modern apps work as diggers that continuously collect every possible information from your devices. The security model of modern mobile operating systems, like Android and iOS, is primarily based on permissions that explicitly define which sensitive services, device capabilities, or user information an app can access, allowing users decide what apps can access. However, new findings by a team of researchers at the International Computer Science Institute in California revealed that mobile app developers are using shady techniques to harvest users' data even after they deny permissions. In their talk " 50 Ways to Pour Your Data " [ PDF ] at PrivacyCon hosted by the Federal Trade Commission last Thursday, researchers presented their findings that outline how more than 1,300 Android apps are collecting users' precise geolocation data and phone identifiers even when they've explicitly denied the required permi
Android July 2019 Security Update Patches 33 New Vulnerabilities

Android July 2019 Security Update Patches 33 New Vulnerabilities

July 02, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Google has started rolling out this month's security updates for its mobile operating system platform to address a total of 33 new security vulnerabilities affecting Android devices, 9 of which have been rated critical in severity. The vulnerabilities affect various Android components, including the Android operating system, framework, library, media framework, as well as Qualcomm components, including closed-source components. Three of the critical vulnerabilities patched this month reside in Android's Media framework, the most severe of which could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted device, within the context of a privileged process, by convincing users into opening a specially crafted malicious file. "The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected device, assuming the platform and service mitigations are turned off for development purposes or if successfully bypas
Unpatched Flaw in UC Browser Apps Could Let Hackers Launch Phishing Attacks

Unpatched Flaw in UC Browser Apps Could Let Hackers Launch Phishing Attacks

May 08, 2019Wang Wei
A bug hunter has discovered and publicly disclosed details of an unpatched browser address bar spoofing vulnerability that affects popular Chinese UC Browser and UC Browser Mini apps for Android. Developed by Alibaba-owned UCWeb, UC Browser is one of the most popular mobile browsers, specifically in China and India, with a massive user base of more than half a billion users worldwide. According to the details security researcher Arif Khan shared with The Hacker News, the vulnerability resides in the way User Interface on both browsers handles a special built-in feature that was otherwise designed to improve users Google search experience. The vulnerability, which has yet not assigned any CVE identifier, could allow an attacker to control URL string displayed in the address bar, eventually letting a malicious website to pose as some legitimate site. The vulnerability affects the latest UC Browser version 12.11.2.1184 and UC Browser Mini version 12.10.1.1192—that is current
Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

April 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Even after Google's security oversight over its already-huge Android ecosystem has evolved over the years, malware apps still keep coming back to Google Play Store. Sometimes just reposting an already detected malware app from a newly created Play Store account, or using other developers' existing accounts, is enough for 'bad-faith' developers to trick the Play Store into distributing unsafe apps to Android users. Since the mobile device platform is growing rapidly, every new effort Google makes apparently comes with trade-offs. For example, Google recently made some changes in its Play Store policies and added new restriction in Android APIs that now makes it mandatory for every new app to undergo rigorous security testing and review process before appearing in the Google Play Store. These efforts also include: restricting developers from abusing Android accessibility services, restricting apps access to certain permissions like call logs and SMS permi
'Exodus' Surveillance Malware Found Targeting Apple iOS Users

'Exodus' Surveillance Malware Found Targeting Apple iOS Users

April 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered an iOS version of the powerful mobile phone surveillance app that was initially targeting Android devices through apps on the official Google Play Store. Dubbed Exodus , as the malware is called, the iOS version of the spyware was discovered by security researchers at LookOut during their analysis of its Android samples they had found last year. Unlike its Android variant, the iOS version of Exodus has been distributed outside of the official App Store, primarily through phishing websites that imitate Italian and Turkmenistani mobile carriers. Since Apple restricts direct installation of apps outside of its official app store, the iOS version of Exodus is abusing the Apple Developer Enterprise program, which allows enterprises to distribute their own in-house apps directly to their employees without needing to use the iOS App Store. "Each of the phishing sites contained links to a distribution manifest, which contained metadata
Unpatched Flaw in Xiaomi's Built-in Browser App Lets Hackers Spoof URLs

Unpatched Flaw in Xiaomi's Built-in Browser App Lets Hackers Spoof URLs

April 05, 2019Mohit Kumar
EXCLUSIVE — Beware, if you are using a Xiaomi's Mi or Redmi smartphone, you should immediately update its built-in MI browser or the Mint browser available on Google Play Store for non-Xiaomi Android devices. That's because both web browser apps created by Xiaomi are vulnerable to a critical vulnerability which has not yet been patched even after being privately reported to the company, a researcher told The Hacker News. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2019-10875 and discovered by security researcher Arif Khan , is a browser address bar spoofing issue that originates because of a logical flaw in the browser's interface, allowing a malicious website to control URLs displayed in the address bar. According to the advisory, affected browsers are not properly handling the "q" query parameter in the URLs, thus fail to display the portion of an https URL before the ?q= substring in the address bar. Since the address bar of a web browser is the most r
Hackers Could Turn Pre-Installed Antivirus App on Xiaomi Phones Into Malware

Hackers Could Turn Pre-Installed Antivirus App on Xiaomi Phones Into Malware

April 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
What could be worse than this, if the software that's meant to protect your devices leave backdoors open for hackers or turn into malware? Researchers today revealed that a security app that comes pre-installed on more than 150 million devices manufactured by Xiaomi, China's biggest and world's 4th largest smartphone company, was suffering from multiple issues that could have allowed remote hackers to compromise Xiaomi smartphones. According to CheckPoint, the reported issues resided in one of the pre-installed application called, Guard Provider , a security app developed by Xiaomi that includes three different antivirus programs packed inside it, allowing users to choose between Avast, AVL, and Tencent. Since Guard Provider has been designed to offer multiple 3rd-party programs within a single app, it uses several Software Development Kits (SDKs), which according to researchers is not a great idea because data of one SDK cannot be isolated and any issue in one of
Insecure UC Browser 'Feature' Lets Hackers Hijack Android Phones Remotely

Insecure UC Browser 'Feature' Lets Hackers Hijack Android Phones Remotely

March 26, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Beware! If you are using UC Browser on your smartphones, you should consider uninstalling it immediately. Why? Because the China-made UC Browser contains a "questionable" ability that could be exploited by remote attackers to automatically download and execute code on your Android devices. Developed by Alibaba-owned UCWeb, UC Browser is one of the most popular mobile browsers, specifically in China and India, with a massive user base of more than 500 million users worldwide. According to a new report published today by Dr. Web firm, since at least 2016, UC Browser for Android has a "hidden" feature that allows the company to anytime download new libraries and modules from its servers and install them on users' mobile devices. Pushing Malicious UC Browser Plug-ins Using MiTM Attack What's worrisome? It turns out that the reported feature downloads new plugins from the company server over insecure HTTP protocol instead of encrypted HTTPS proto
Android Q — Google Adds New Mobile Security and Privacy Features

Android Q — Google Adds New Mobile Security and Privacy Features

March 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Google has recently released the first beta version of Android Q, the next upcoming version of Google's popular mobile operating system, with a lot of new privacy improvements and other security enhancements. Android Q, where Q has not yet been named, offers more control over installed apps, their access, and permissions, and location settings; more support for passive authentication like face ID, and warnings when you install a new app targeting Android Marshmallow or older. Instead of directly going through dozens of different pages Google published about Android Q, here I have summarized all new privacy and security features of the new version of Android you can quickly learn from: 1) Stop Android Apps From Tracking Your Location in the Background Android Q gives you more control over how an app can use your device location information. Currently, you have a single option to either allow or deny an app access to your device location, doesn't matter if it is in-use
Several Popular Beauty Camera Apps Caught Stealing Users' Photos

Several Popular Beauty Camera Apps Caught Stealing Users' Photos

February 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Just because an app is available on Google Play Store doesn't mean that it is a legitimate app. Despite so many efforts by Google, some fake and malicious apps do sneak in and land millions of unaware users on the hunting ground of scammers and hackers. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro uncovered at least 29 devious photo apps that managed to make its way onto Google Play Store and have been downloaded more than 4 million times before Google removed them from its app store. The mobile apps in question disguised as photo editing and beauty apps purporting to use your mobile phone's camera to take better pictures or beautify the snaps you shoot, but were found including code that performs malicious activities on their users' smartphone. Three of the rogue apps—Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo and Emoji Camera—have been downloaded more than a million times each, with Artistic Effect Filter being installed over 500,000 times and another seven apps in the list over 100
New Android API Lets Developers Push Updates Within their Apps

New Android API Lets Developers Push Updates Within their Apps

November 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
You might have read somewhere online today that Google is granting Android app developers powers to forcefully install app updates…but it is not true. Instead, the tech giant is providing a new feature that will help users to have up-to-date Android apps all the time and yes, it's optional. Along with the launch of a number of new tools and features at its Android Dev Summit 2018 , Google has also launched the a new API, called "In-app Updates," which aims to help developers ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of their app. "We've heard that you'd like more controls to ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of your app. To address this, we're launching an In-app Updates API," Google said . How Does Android's New In-app Updates API Work? It should be noted that the Android's new In-app Updates API doesn't force or lock out users from the app if they chose not to update it. In
Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected Firebase Hosted Databases

Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected Firebase Hosted Databases

June 21, 2018Mohit Kumar
Mobile security researchers have discovered unprotected Firebase databases of thousands of iOS and Android mobile applications that are exposing over 100 million data records, including plain text passwords, user IDs, location, and in some cases, financial records such as banking and cryptocurrency transactions. Google’s Firebase service is one of the most popular back-end development platforms for mobile and web applications that offers developers a cloud-based database, which stores data in JSON format and synced it in the real-time with all connected clients. Researchers from mobile security firm Appthority discovered that many app developers' fail to properly secure their back-end Firebase endpoints with firewalls and authentication, leaving hundreds of gigabytes of sensitive data of their customers publicly accessible to anyone. Since Firebase offers app developers an API server, as shown below, to access their databases hosted with the service, attackers can gain acce
Google Makes it Mandatory for OEMs to Roll Out Android Security Updates Regularly

Google Makes it Mandatory for OEMs to Roll Out Android Security Updates Regularly

May 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security of Android devices has been a nightmare since its inception, and the biggest reason being is that users don't receive latest security patch updates regularly. Precisely, it's your device manufacturer (Android OEMs) actually who takes time to roll out security patches for your devices and sometimes, even has been caught lying about security updates , telling customers that their smartphones are running the latest updates. Since Google did not have direct control over the OEM branded firmware running on billions of devices, it brought some significant changes to the Android system architecture last year with Project Treble gain more control over the update process. Although Google and device manufacturers have made some progress in the past year, the problem with the security update remains because of OEMs not delivering all patches regularly and on a timely basis, leaving parts of the Android ecosystem exposed to hackers. But here's good news—starting wi
Google to add "DNS over TLS" security feature to Android OS

Google to add "DNS over TLS" security feature to Android OS

October 23, 2017Mohit Kumar
No doubt your Internet Service Provides (ISPs), or network-level hackers cannot spy on https communications. But do you know — ISPs can still see all of your DNS requests, allowing them to know what websites you visit. Google is working on a new security feature for Android that could prevent your Internet traffic from network spoofing attacks. Almost every Internet activity starts with a DNS query, making it a fundamental building block of the Internet. DNS works as an Internet's phone book that resolves human-readable web addresses, like thehackernews.com, against their IP addresses. DNS queries and responses are sent in clear text (using UDP or TCP) without encryption, which makes it vulnerable to eavesdropping and compromises privacy. ISPs by default resolve DNS queries from their servers. So when you type a website name in your browser, the query first goes to their DNS servers to find the website's IP address, which eventually exposes this information (metada
OnePlus Secretly Collects Way More Data Than It Should — Here’s How to Disable It

OnePlus Secretly Collects Way More Data Than It Should — Here’s How to Disable It

October 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
There is terrible news for all OnePlus lovers. Your OnePlus handset, running OxygenOS—the company's custom version of the Android operating system, is collecting way more data on its users than it requires. A recent blog post published today by security researcher Christopher Moore on his website detailed the data collection practice by the Shenzhen-based Chinese smartphone maker, revealing that OxygenOS built-in analytics is regularly sending users' telemetry data to OnePlus' servers. Collecting basic telemetry device data is a usual practice that every software maker and device manufacturers do to identify, analyse and fix software issues and help improve the quality of their products, but OnePlus found collecting user identification information as well. Moore simply started intercepting the network traffic to analyse what data his OnePlus device sends to its servers, and found that the data collected by the company included: User’ phone number MAC addresse
Mobile Bootloaders From Top Manufacturers Found Vulnerable to Persistent Threats

Mobile Bootloaders From Top Manufacturers Found Vulnerable to Persistent Threats

September 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered several severe zero-day vulnerabilities in the mobile bootloaders from at least four popular device manufacturers that could allow an attacker to gain persistent root access on the device. A team of nine security researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara created a special static binary tool called BootStomp that automatically detects security vulnerabilities in bootloaders. Since bootloaders are usually closed source and hard to reverse-engineer, performing analysis on them is difficult, especially because hardware dependencies hinder dynamic analysis. Therefore, the researchers created BootStomp, which "uses a novel combination of static analysis techniques and underconstrained symbolic execution to build a multi-tag taint analysis capable of identifying bootloader vulnerabilities." The tool helped the researchers discover six previously-unknown critical security bugs across bootloaders from HiSilicon (Huawe
Researcher Claims Samsung's Tizen OS is Poorly Programmed; Contains 27,000 Bugs!

Researcher Claims Samsung's Tizen OS is Poorly Programmed; Contains 27,000 Bugs!

July 13, 2017Wang Wei
A researcher has claimed that Samsung's Tizen operating system that runs on millions of Samsung products is so poorly programmed that it could contain nearly 27,000 programming errors, which could also lead to thousands of vulnerabilities. Tizen is a Linux-based open-source operating system backed by Intel and Samsung Electronics, which has been in development since early 2012 and designed for smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, smart watches, cameras and PCs. According to Andrey Karpov — founder of Russia-based company Program Verification Systems that made PVS-Studio, a static code analyzer tool that helps programmers to find and fix bugs in their source codes — his team has discovered hundreds of errors in Tizen project using PVS-Studio. Samsung's Tizen operating system, written in C/C++ programming language, currently has 72.5 million lines of source code, out of which Karpov's team has analysed some randomly chosen modules i.e. 3.3% of the entire Project and fou
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