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Android Malware Campaign Leverages Money-Lending Apps to Blackmail Victims

Android Malware Campaign Leverages Money-Lending Apps to Blackmail Victims
Dec 15, 2022 Mobile Security /
A previously undocumented Android malware campaign has been observed leveraging money-lending apps to blackmail victims into paying up with personal information stolen from their devices. Mobile security company Zimperium dubbed the activity  MoneyMonger , pointing out the use of the  cross-platform Flutter framework  to develop the apps. MoneyMonger "takes advantage of Flutter's framework to obfuscate malicious features and complicate the detection of malicious activity by static analysis," Zimperium researchers Fernando Sanchez, Alex Calleja , Matteo Favaro, and Gianluca Braga  said  in a report shared with The Hacker news. "Due to the nature of Flutter, the malicious code and activity now hide behind a framework outside the static analysis capabilities of legacy mobile security products." The campaign, believed to be active since May 2022, is part of a broader effort previously  disclosed  by Indian cybersecurity firm K7 Security Labs. None of the 33 ap

Chinese Hackers Using 42,000 Imposter Domains in Massive Phishing Attack Campaign

Chinese Hackers Using 42,000 Imposter Domains in Massive Phishing Attack Campaign
Nov 17, 2022
A China-based financially motivated group is leveraging the trust associated with popular international brands to orchestrate a large-scale phishing campaign dating back as far as 2019. The threat actor, dubbed Fangxiao by Cyjax, is said to have registered over  42,000 imposter domains , with initial activity observed in 2017. "It targets businesses in multiple verticals including retail, banking, travel, and energy," researchers Emily Dennison and Alana Witten  said . "Promised financial or physical incentives are used to trick victims into further spreading the campaign via WhatsApp." Users clicking on a link sent through the messaging app are directed to an actor-controlled site, which, in turn, sends them to a landing domain impersonating a well-known brand, from where the victims are once again taken to sites distributing fraudulent apps and bogus rewards. These sites prompt the visitors to complete a survey to claim cash prizes, in exchange for which the

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Fake Antivirus and Cleaner Apps Caught Installing SharkBot Android Banking Trojan

Fake Antivirus and Cleaner Apps Caught Installing SharkBot Android Banking Trojan
Sep 05, 2022
The notorious Android banking trojan known as  SharkBot  has once again made an appearance on the Google Play Store by masquerading as antivirus and cleaner apps. "This new dropper doesn't rely on Accessibility permissions to automatically perform the installation of the dropper Sharkbot malware," NCC Group's Fox-IT  said  in a report. "Instead, this new version asks the victim to install the malware as a fake update for the antivirus to stay protected against threats." The apps in question, Mister Phone Cleaner and Kylhavy Mobile Security, have over 60,000 installations between them and are designed to target users in Spain, Australia, Poland, Germany, the U.S., and Austria - Mister Phone Cleaner (com.mbkristine8.cleanmaster, 50,000+ downloads) Kylhavy Mobile Security (com.kylhavy.antivirus, 10,000+ downloads) The  droppers  are designed to drop a new version of SharkBot,  dubbed V2  by Dutch security firm ThreatFabric, which features an updated co

Over 1,800 Android and iOS Apps Found Leaking Hard-Coded AWS Credentials

Over 1,800 Android and iOS Apps Found Leaking Hard-Coded AWS Credentials
Sep 01, 2022
Researchers have identified 1,859 apps across Android and iOS containing hard-coded Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials, posing a major security risk. "Over three-quarters (77%) of the apps contained valid AWS access tokens allowing access to private AWS cloud services," Symantec's Threat Hunter team, a part of Broadcom Software, said in a  report  shared with The Hacker News. Interestingly, a little more than 50% of the apps were found using the same AWS tokens found in other apps maintained by other developers and companies, highlighting a supply chain issue with serious implications. "The AWS access tokens could be traced to a shared library, third-party SDK, or other shared component used in developing the apps," the researchers said. These credentials are typically used for downloading appropriate resources necessary for the app's functions as well as accessing configuration files and authenticating to other cloud services. To make matters wors

These 28+ Android Apps with 10 Million Downloads from the Play Store Contain Malware

These 28+ Android Apps with 10 Million Downloads from the Play Store Contain Malware
Jul 27, 2022
As many as 30 malicious Android apps with cumulative downloads of nearly 10 million have been found on the Google Play Store distributing adware. "All of them were built into various programs, including image-editing software, virtual keyboards, system tools and utilities, calling apps, wallpaper collection apps, and others," Dr.Web  said  in a Tuesday write-up. While masquerading as innocuous apps, their primary goal is to request permissions to show windows over other apps and run in the background in order to serve intrusive ads. To make it difficult for the victims to detect and uninstall the apps, the adware trojans hide their icons from the list of installed apps in the home screen or replace the icons with others that are likely to be less noticed (e.g., SIM Toolkit). Some of these apps also offer the advertised features, as observed in the case of two apps: "Water Reminder- Tracker & Reminder" and "Yoga- For Beginner to Advanced." However

Overview of Top Mobile Security Threats in 2022

Overview of Top Mobile Security Threats in 2022
Jun 28, 2022
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
Jun 20, 2022
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
Jun 02, 2022
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, 2022
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, 2022
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
Mar 25, 2022
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
Mar 02, 2022
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
Sep 20, 2021
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
Sep 08, 2021
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
Jun 29, 2021
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
Jun 11, 2021
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, 2021
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
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