Tag: Android

The Stylish Sensor: Canary Poised To Take Flight

We’re still in the early days of the fast-emerging Internet of Things, but we can already identify some areas where inexpensive, remote sensors and other IP-enabled stuff will be transformative. Entertainment is one – and we’re already seeing the emergence of “smart TVs” that upset traditional boundaries between personal computing devices and viewing devices. Another market that’s being shaken is the one for home security systems. Anyone who has visited an electronics store or discount warehouse has seen packages of inexpensive, wi-fi enabled cameras that can be used to monitor the goings-on in and about your home “Scarface style.” Those DIY systems pose a threat to firms like ADT, GE and Tyco, which have been selling home security systems and monitoring services for decades. But you’re really setting the “paranoia” bar pretty high if you want to ask someone to install all those cameras, wire them up and then monitor […]

BadNews Android Applications

New Mobile Malware Taps Ad Networks To Spread

It was only a couple weeks back that we wrote about new research from the folks at WhiteHat Security that posited a way for mobile ad networks to be gamed and used to distribute malicious code. Now it looks as if the bad guys were one step ahead, as researchers at Palo Alto Networks reveal new type of malicious Android malware that uses mobile ad networks to infect vulnerable devices. Palo Alto described the new, malicious mobile software, dubbed “Dplug,” in a blog post on Monday. The company said the malware authors appear to be leveraging second tier mobile ad networks, mostly in Russia and the former Soviet Republics), to distribute their wares. The Dplug malware takes advantage of the deep integration between mobile applications and mobile advertising networks to gain a foothold on infected devices, then send out messages to premium SMS services to generate money for the fraudsters, according […]

Security Start-Up, University Team On Android Patch App

The saga of the application-signing flaw affecting Google’s Android mobile phones took another turn Tuesday when a Silicon Valley startup teamed with graduate students from Northeastern University in Boston to offer their own fix-it tool for hundreds of millions of Android phones that have been left without access to Google’s official patch. Duo Security announced the availability of an Android utility dubbed “ReKey” on Tuesday. The tool allows Droid users to patch the so-called “Master Key” vulnerability on Android devices, even in the absence of a security update from Android handset makers (OEMs) and carriers who distribute the phones, according to a post on the Duo Security blog. The tool can be downloaded from the site rekey.io. “ReKey is the latest of our research projects designed to make the Internet a safer place,” said Collin Mulliner, a postdoctoral researcher at NEU SecLab in a joint press release issued by NEU […]

Android Zombies

Android Founder: Install Base Fragmentation No Big Deal

Android owners who were hoping that Google might be on the cusp of cleaning up its balkanized install base won’t be cheered by the latest word from on high: Android co-founder and Google Ventures Partner Rich Miner thinks it’s no big deal. Speaking on Tuesday at an event in Boston, Miner said that fragmentation of the install base was inevitable, given the number and variety of Android devices that are being adopted, according to a report by Xconomy.com.The statement comes as Google is dealing with the fallout from a newly disclosed vulnerability affecting almost all Android platforms that could allow attackers to fool Android into installing and running compromised applications.   Miner was speaking at a Mobile Summit forum hosted by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. He made his statements while being interviewed by renowned technology journalist and columnist Scott Kirsner (@ScottKirsner) of the Boston Globe on the (evergreen) topic “What’s […]

Pau Oliva Fora

Updated: Exploit Code Released For Android Security Hole

A security researcher has published what he claims is a proof of concept program that exploits a  security hole that affects hundreds of millions of Android mobile devices.* Pau Oliva Fora, a security researcher for the firm Via Forensics, published a small, proof of concept module that exploits the flaw in the way Android  verifies the authenticity of signed mobile applications. The flaw was first disclosed last week by Jeff Forristal, the Chief Technology Officer at Bluebox Security, ahead of a presentation at the Black Hat Briefings in August. Oliva Fora posted his “quick and dirty” proof of concept on GitHub, a code sharing website, on Monday. The simple program leverages APKTool, a common, open source tool for reverse engineering Android applications – decompiling and then recompiling their contents. APKTool is widely used for analyzing and making modifications to closed binaries. His script allows a user to select an Android […]