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Google Play Store Highlights 'Independent Security Review' Badge for VPN Apps

Google Play Store Highlights 'Independent Security Review' Badge for VPN Apps

Nov 04, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
Google is rolling out a new banner to highlight the "Independent security review" badge in the Play Store's Data safety section for Android VPN apps that have undergone a Mobile Application Security Assessment ( MASA ) audit. "We've launched this banner beginning with VPN apps due to the sensitive and significant amount of user data these apps handle," Nataliya Stanetsky of the Android Security and Privacy Team  said . MASA allows developers to have their apps independently validated against a global security standard such as the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard ( MASVS ), thereby providing more transparency and enabling users to make informed choices prior to downloading them. The efforts are part of Google's broader push to make the Data safety section a  one-stop   shop  that presents a "unified view of app safety," offering details about the kind of data that's being collected, for what purpose, and if it's be
SpyNote: Beware of This Android Trojan that Records Audio and Phone Calls

SpyNote: Beware of This Android Trojan that Records Audio and Phone Calls

Oct 16, 2023 Malware / Mobile Security
The Android banking trojan known as  SpyNote  has been dissected to reveal its diverse information-gathering features. Typically spread via SMS phishing campaigns, attack chains involving the spyware trick potential victims into installing the app by clicking on the embedded link, according to F-Secure. Besides requesting invasive permissions to access call logs, camera, SMS messages, and external storage, SpyNote is known for hiding its presence from the Android home screen and the  Recents screen  in a bid to make it difficult to avoid detection. "The SpyNote malware app can be launched via an external trigger," F-Secure researcher Amit Tambe  said  in an analysis published last week. "Upon receiving the intent, the malware app launches the main activity." But most importantly, it seeks accessibility permissions, subsequently leveraging it to grant itself additional permissions to record audio and phone calls, log keystrokes, as well as capture screenshots o
Syrian Threat Actor EVLF Unmasked as Creator of CypherRAT and CraxsRAT Android Malware

Syrian Threat Actor EVLF Unmasked as Creator of CypherRAT and CraxsRAT Android Malware

Aug 23, 2023 Mobile Security / Cyber Crime
A Syrian threat actor named  EVLF  has been outed as the creator of malware families CypherRAT and CraxsRAT. "These RATs are designed to allow an attacker to remotely perform real-time actions and control the victim device's camera, location, and microphone," Cybersecurity firm Cyfirma  said  in a report published last week. CypherRAT and CraxsRAT are said to be offered to other cybercriminals as part of a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) scheme. As many as 100 unique threat actors are estimated to have purchased the twin tools on a lifetime license over the past three years. EVLF is said to be operating a web shop to advertise their warez since at least September 2022. CraxsRAT is billed as an Android trojan that enables a threat actor to remote control an infected device from a Windows computer, with the developer consistently releasing new updates based on feedback from the customers. The malicious package is generated using a builder, which comes with options to cus
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Webinar: How to streamline security reviews with Trust Center

websiteVantaCompliance / Security Audit
Learn how Vanta Trust Center can help provide real-time evidence for passing controls and automate responses to security questionnaires.
The Ultimate SaaS Security Posture Management Checklist, 2025 Edition

The Ultimate SaaS Security Posture Management Checklist, 2025 Edition

May 22, 2024SaaS Security / Threat Detection
Since the first edition of  The Ultimate SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) Checklist  was released three years ago, the corporate SaaS sprawl has been growing at a double-digit pace. In large enterprises, the number of SaaS applications in use today is in the hundreds, spread across departmental stacks, complicating the job of security teams to protect organizations against evolving threats. As SaaS security becomes a top priority, enterprises are turning to SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) as an enabler. The  2025 Ultimate SaaS Security Checklist , designed to help organizations choose an SSPM, covers all the features and capabilities that should be included in these solutions. Before diving into each attack surface, when implementing an SSPM solution, it's essential to cover a breadth of integrations, including out-of-the-box and custom app integrations, as well as in-depth security checks. While there are apps that are more sensitive and complex to secure, a breach c
New Android 14 Security Feature: IT Admins Can Now Disable 2G Networks

New Android 14 Security Feature: IT Admins Can Now Disable 2G Networks

Aug 09, 2023 Mobile Security / Network Attack
Google has introduced a new security feature in Android 14 that allows IT administrators to disable support for 2G cellular networks in their managed device fleet. The search giant said it's introducing a second user setting to turn off support, at the model level, for  null-ciphered cellular connections . "The Android Security Model assumes that all networks are hostile to keep users safe from network packet injection, tampering, or eavesdropping on user traffic," Roger Piqueras Jover, Yomna Nasser, and Sudhi Herle  said . "Android does not rely on link-layer encryption to address this threat model. Instead, Android establishes that all network traffic should be end-to-end encrypted (E2EE)." 2G networks, in particular, employ weak encryption and lack mutual authentication,  rendering  them  susceptible  to over-the-air interception and traffic decryption attacks by impersonating a real 2G tower. The  threat posed by rogue cellular base stations  means th
Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse

Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse

Jul 29, 2023 Data Security / Privacy
Apple has announced plans to require developers to submit reasons to use certain APIs in their apps starting later this year with the release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 to prevent their abuse for data collection. "This will help ensure that apps only use these APIs for their intended purpose," the company  said  in a statement. "As part of this process, you'll need to select one or more approved reasons that accurately reflect how your app uses the API, and your app can only use the API for the reasons you've selected." The APIs that  require  reasons for use relate to the following - File timestamp APIs System boot time APIs Disk space APIs Active keyboard APIs, and User defaults APIs The iPhone maker said it's making the move to ensure that such APIs are not abused by app developers to collect device signals to carry out  fingerprinting , which could be employed to  uniquely identify users  across different a
Chinese APT41 Hackers Target Mobile Devices with New WyrmSpy and DragonEgg Spyware

Chinese APT41 Hackers Target Mobile Devices with New WyrmSpy and DragonEgg Spyware

Jul 19, 2023 Spyware / Mobile Security
The prolific China-linked nation-state actor known as APT41 has been linked to two previously undocumented strains of Android spyware called WyrmSpy and DragonEgg. "Known for its exploitation of web-facing applications and infiltration of traditional endpoint devices, an established threat actor like APT 41 including mobile in its arsenal of malware shows how mobile endpoints are high-value targets with coveted corporate and personal data," Lookout  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. APT41, also tracked under the names Axiom, Blackfly, Brass Typhoon (formerly Barium), Bronze Atlas, HOODOO, Wicked Panda, and Winnti, is known to be operational since at least 2007, targeting a wide range of industries to conduct intellectual property theft. Recent attacks mounted by the adversarial collective have  leveraged  an open-source red teaming tool known as Google Command and Control (GC2) as part of attacks aimed at media and job platforms in Taiwan and Italy. The init
Two Spyware Apps on Google Play with 1.5 Million Users Sending Data to China

Two Spyware Apps on Google Play with 1.5 Million Users Sending Data to China

Jul 08, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
Two file management apps on the Google Play Store have been discovered to be spyware, putting the privacy and security of up to 1.5 million Android users at risk. These apps engage in deceptive behaviour and secretly send sensitive user data to malicious servers in China. Pradeo, a leading mobile security company, has uncovered this alarming infiltration. The report shows that both spyware apps, namely File Recovery and Data Recovery (com.spot.music.filedate) with over 1 million installs, and File Manager (com.file.box.master.gkd) with over 500,000 installs, are developed by the same group. These seemingly harmless Android apps use similar malicious tactics and automatically launch when the device reboots without user input. Contrary to what they claim on the Google Play Store, where both apps assure users that no data is collected, Pradeo's analytics engine has found that various personal information is collected without users' knowledge. Stolen data includes contact list
Vishing Goes High-Tech: New 'Letscall' Malware Employs Voice Traffic Routing

Vishing Goes High-Tech: New 'Letscall' Malware Employs Voice Traffic Routing

Jul 07, 2023 Mobile Security / Malware
Researchers have issued a warning about an emerging and advanced form of voice phishing ( vishing ) known as " Letscall ." This technique is currently targeting individuals in South Korea. The criminals behind "Letscall" employ a multi-step attack to deceive victims into downloading malicious apps from a counterfeit Google Play Store website. Once the malicious software is installed, it redirects incoming calls to a call center under the control of the criminals. Trained operators posing as bank employees then extract sensitive information from unsuspecting victims. To facilitate the routing of voice traffic, "Letscall" utilizes cutting-edge technologies such as voice over IP (VOIP) and WebRTC. It also makes use of Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN) and Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) protocols, including Google STUN servers, to ensure high-quality phone or video calls and bypass NAT and firewall restrictions. The "Letscall&quo
 Google Releases Android Patch Update for 3 Actively Exploited Vulnerabilities

Google Releases Android Patch Update for 3 Actively Exploited Vulnerabilities

Jul 07, 2023 Zero-Day Vulnerability
Google has released its monthly security updates for the Android operating system, addressing 46 new software vulnerabilities. Among these, three vulnerabilities have been identified as actively exploited in targeted attacks. One of the vulnerabilities tracked as CVE-2023-26083 is a memory leak flaw affecting the Arm Mali GPU driver for Bifrost, Avalon, and Valhall chips. This particular vulnerability was exploited in a previous attack that enabled spyware infiltration on Samsung devices in December 2022. This vulnerability was regarded as serious enough to prompt the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to issue a patching order for federal agencies in April 2023. Another significant vulnerability, identified as CVE-2021-29256, is a high-severity issue that affects specific versions of the Bifrost and Midgard Arm Mali GPU kernel drivers. This flaw permits an unprivileged user to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data and escalate privileges to the root lev
Android Spy App LetMeSpy Suffers Major Data Breach, Exposing Users' Personal Data

Android Spy App LetMeSpy Suffers Major Data Breach, Exposing Users' Personal Data

Jun 29, 2023 Mobile Security / Privacy
Android-based phone monitoring app LetMeSpy has disclosed a security breach that allowed an unauthorized third-party to steal sensitive data associated with thousands of Android users. "As a result of the attack, the criminals gained access to email addresses, telephone numbers and the content of messages collected on accounts," LetMeSpy  said  in an announcement on its website, noting the incident took place on June 21, 2023. Following the discovery of the hack, LetMeSpy said it notified law enforcement and data protection authorities. It's also taking steps to suspend all account-related functions until further notice. The identity of the threat actor and their motives are currently unknown. The work of a Polish company named Radeal, LetMeSpy is offered as a monthly subscription ($6 for Standard or $12 for Pro), allowing its customers to snoop on others simply by installing the software on their devices. An  Internet Archive snapshot  from December 2013 shows that i
New BrutePrint Attack Lets Attackers Unlock Smartphones with Fingerprint Brute-Force

New BrutePrint Attack Lets Attackers Unlock Smartphones with Fingerprint Brute-Force

May 29, 2023 Authentication / Mobile Security
Researchers have discovered an inexpensive attack technique that could be leveraged to brute-force fingerprints on smartphones to bypass user authentication and seize control of the devices. The approach, dubbed  BrutePrint , bypasses limits put in place to counter failed biometric authentication attempts by weaponizing two zero-day vulnerabilities in the smartphone fingerprint authentication (SFA) framework. The flaws, Cancel-After-Match-Fail (CAMF) and Match-After-Lock (MAL), leverage logical defects in the authentication framework, which arises due to insufficient protection of fingerprint data on the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) of fingerprint sensors. The result is a "hardware approach to do man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks for fingerprint image hijacking," researchers Yu Chen and Yiling He  said  in a research paper. "BrutePrint acts as a middleman between fingerprint sensor and  TEE  [Trusted Execution Environment]." The goal, at its core, is to be
This Cybercrime Syndicate Pre-Infected Over 8.9 Million Android Phones Worldwide

This Cybercrime Syndicate Pre-Infected Over 8.9 Million Android Phones Worldwide

May 18, 2023 Mobile Security / Cyber Crime
A cybercrime enterprise known as  Lemon Group  is leveraging millions of pre-infected Android smartphones worldwide to carry out their malicious operations, posing significant supply chain risks. "The infection turns these devices into mobile proxies, tools for stealing and selling SMS messages, social media and online messaging accounts and monetization via advertisements and click fraud," cybersecurity firm Trend Micro  said . The activity encompasses no fewer than 8.9 million compromised Android devices, particularly budget phones, with the highest concentration of the infections discovered in the U.S., Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, South Africa, India, Angola, the Philippines, and Argentina. The findings were  presented  by researchers Fyodor Yarochkin, Zhengyu Dong, Vladimir Kropotov, and Paul Pajares at the Black Hat Asia conference held in Singapore last week. Describing it as a  continuously evolving problem , the cybersecurity firm said the threat actors
OilAlpha: Emerging Houthi-linked Cyber Threat Targets Arabian Android Users

OilAlpha: Emerging Houthi-linked Cyber Threat Targets Arabian Android Users

May 17, 2023 Cyber Threat / Mobile Security
A hacking group dubbed  OilAlpha  with suspected ties to Yemen's  Houthi movement  has been linked to a cyber espionage campaign targeting development, humanitarian, media, and non-governmental organizations in the Arabian peninsula. "OilAlpha used encrypted chat messengers like WhatsApp to launch social engineering attacks against its targets," cybersecurity company Recorded Future  said  in a technical report published Tuesday. "It has also used URL link shorteners. Per victimology assessment, it appears a majority of the targeted entities were Arabic-language speakers and operated Android devices." OilAlpha is the new cryptonym given by Recorded Future to two overlapping clusters previously tracked by the company under the names TAG-41 and TAG-62 since April 2022. TAG-XX (short for Threat Activity Group) is the temporary moniker assigned to emerging threat groups. The assessment that the adversary is acting in the interest of the Houthi movement is base
Fleckpe Android Malware Sneaks onto Google Play Store with Over 620,000 Downloads

Fleckpe Android Malware Sneaks onto Google Play Store with Over 620,000 Downloads

May 05, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
A new Android subscription malware named  Fleckpe  has been unearthed on the Google Play Store, amassing more than 620,000 downloads in total since 2022. Kaspersky, which identified 11 apps on the official app storefront, said the malware masqueraded as legitimate photo editing apps, camera, and smartphone wallpaper packs. The apps have since been taken down. The operation primarily targets users from Thailand, although telemetry data gathered by the Russian cybersecurity firm has revealed victims in Poland, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. The apps further offer the promised functionality to avoid raising red flags, but conceal their real purpose under the hood. The list of the offending apps is as follows - Beauty Camera Plus (com.beauty.camera.plus.photoeditor) Beauty Photo Camera (com.apps.camera.photos) Beauty Slimming Photo Editor (com.beauty.slimming.pro) Fingertip Graffiti (com.draw.graffiti) GIF Camera Editor (com.gif.camera.editor) HD 4K Wallpaper (com.hd.h4ks.
BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups

BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups

May 02, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
A new Android surveillanceware possibly used by the Iranian government has been used to spy on over 300 individuals belonging to minority groups. The malware, dubbed  BouldSpy , has been attributed with moderate confidence to the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( FARAJA ). Targeted victims include Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, and Armenian Christian groups. "The spyware may also have been used in efforts to counter and monitor illegal trafficking activity related to arms, drugs, and alcohol," Lookout  said , based on exfiltrated data that contained photos of drugs, firearms, and official documents issued by FARAJA.  BouldSpy, like other Android malware families, abuses its access to Android's accessibility services and other intrusive permissions to harvest sensitive data such as web browser history, photos, contact lists, SMS logs, keystrokes, screenshots, clipboard content, microphone audio, and video call recordings. It's worth poin
Goldoson Android Malware Infects Over 100 Million Google Play Store Downloads

Goldoson Android Malware Infects Over 100 Million Google Play Store Downloads

Apr 18, 2023 Mobile Security / Hacking
A new Android malware strain named  Goldoson  has been detected in the official Google Play Store spanning more than 60 legitimate apps that collectively have over 100 million downloads. An additional eight million installations have been tracked through ONE store, a leading third-party app storefront in South Korea. The rogue component is part of a third-party software library used by the apps in question and is capable of gathering information about installed apps, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-connected devices, and GPS locations. "Moreover, the library is armed with the functionality to perform ad fraud by clicking advertisements in the background without the user's consent," McAfee security researcher SangRyol Ryu  said  in a report published last week. What's more, it includes the ability to stealthily load web pages, a feature that could be abused to load ads for financial profit. It achieves this by loading HTML code in a hidden  WebView  and driving traffic to th
WhatsApp Introduces New Device Verification Feature to Prevent Account Takeover Attacks

WhatsApp Introduces New Device Verification Feature to Prevent Account Takeover Attacks

Apr 13, 2023 Mobile Security / Privacy
Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp on Thursday announced a new account verification feature that ensures that malware running on a user's mobile device doesn't impact their account. "Mobile device malware is one of the biggest threats to people's privacy and security today because it can take advantage of your phone without your permission and use your WhatsApp to send unwanted messages," the Meta-owned company said in an announcement. Called  Device Verification , the security measure is designed to help prevent account takeover (ATO) attacks by blocking the threat actor's connection and allowing targets of the malware infection to use the app without any interruption. In other words, the goal is to deter attackers' use of malware to steal WhatsApp authentication keys and hijack victim accounts, and subsequently impersonate them to distribute spam and phishing links to other contacts. This, in turn, is achieved by introducing a security-token th
Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends for 2023: From Zero Trust to Cyber Insurance

Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends for 2023: From Zero Trust to Cyber Insurance

Apr 10, 2023 Cybersecurity / Cyber Threats
As technology advances, cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated. With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, cybercrime is on the rise, as evidenced by the fact that cyberattacks caused  92% of all data breaches  in the first quarter of 2022. Staying current with cybersecurity trends and laws is crucial to combat these threats, which can significantly impact business development.  In 2023, the cybersecurity market is expected to see new trends, and businesses must be adequately prepared for any developments. Andrey Slastenov, Head of Web Security at Gcore, shares his insights on these trends in this article. 1 —  Application security As businesses shifted online to stay afloat during the pandemic, the forecast for application security spending is projected to surpass $7.5 billion, according to  Statista . Source However, every application might be susceptible to hacking, zero-day attacks, and identity theft. Ensuring application security demands professionals w
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