Tag: Android

BadNews Android Applications

Update: Google Says BadNews Malware Not-So-Bad After All?

Editor’s Note: Updated to add comments from Lookout Mobile Security. – PFR  6/10/2013 When reports surfaced about “BadNews,” a new family of mobile malware that affected Google Android devices the news sounded…well…bad. BadNews was described as a new kind of mobile malware for the Android platform-one that harness mobile ad networks to push out malicious links, harvest information on compromised devices and more. Now, six weeks later, a senior member of Google’s Android security team claims that BadNews wasn’t really all that bad, after all. Speaking at an event in Washington D.C. sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, Google employee and Android team member Adrian Ludwig threw cold water on reports linking BadNews to sites that installed malicious programs. The search giant, he said, had not found any evidence linking BadNews to so-called SMS “toll fraud” malware. “We’ve observed the app(lication) and we’ve reviewed all the logs we have access […]

Android Zombies

Google Adds Detection For Obad Malware

Just a follow-up to our story from last week on Obad, the new family of mobile malware that affects Google Android devices: In an e-mail to The Security Ledger on Friday, Google acknowledged the existence of the Trojan horse program and has updated its detection tools to be able to identify it. In an e-mail, a Google spokeswoman said that the malware, dubbed “Obad” by Kaspersky Lab, was not found on the company’s Google Play application store. The company  added detection for the new malware to its Application Verification Tool, which protects Android users who tried to download it from a third-party application store or browser. Obad, or Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, is described as a “multi function Trojan” that primarily acts as an SMS Trojan, surreptitiously sending short message service (SMS) messages to premium numbers. It was first described in a blog post by Kaspersky Lab researcher malware researcher Roman Unuchek last week. Unuchek […]

mobile malware by platform

New Malware Exploits Android Glitch To Block Removal

A new malicious program that runs on Android mobile devices exploits vulnerabilities in Google’s mobile operating system to extend the application’s permissions on the infected device, and to block attempts to remove the malicious application. Writing on securelist.com, Kaspersky Lab’s research blog, malware researcher Roman Unuchek called the newly discovered Trojan the “most sophisticated” malicious program yet detected that works with Android phones. He cited the Trojan’s advanced features, including complex obfuscation techniques that complicated analysis of the code, and the use of a previously unknown vulnerability in Android that allowed it to take control of and maintain a foothold on infected Android devices. Kaspersky said it has contacted Google regarding the malware and the alleged vulnerabilities in Android. Google was unable to confirm that prior to publication. The malware, dubbed Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, is described as a “multi function Trojan.” Like most profit-oriented mobile malware, Obad is primarily an SMS Trojan, […]

Monoculture 2.0: Will Android’s Rise Be A Security Nightmare?

There have been a bunch of interesting articles in recent weeks that highlight the rapid expansion of Google’s Android operating system from phones and tablets to all kinds of intelligent devices. They beg the question: is Android becoming the Microsoft Windows of the fast-emerging “Internet of Things.” And, if so, we might ask: ‘What are the security implications of that?’ First the skinny on Android’s growing dominance of the intelligent device sector. Ashlee Vance over at Businessweek.com delved into that with an article “Behind the Internet of Things is Android – and its everywhere.” Vance makes the point that Android is not only the choice for 75% of the handset makers these days – it’s also become the OS of choice for anyone making anything with a processor and a networking stack. The effect of that is akin to what Microsoft encountered when Windows went from being just another PC […]

BadNews Android Applications

BadNews: Mobile Attackers Pivot To Malicious Ads

The identification over the weekend of a large-scale outbreak of mobile malware dubbed “BadNews” is bad news, indeed for millions of Android device users, who downloaded applications from the official Google Play application store that connected their devices to a malicious advertising network, dubbed “BadNews.” The discovery of the malware-infected apps, which were downloaded between two- and nine million times, suggests a new wrinkle in the mobile malware space, with attackers turning to honest-seeming mobile ad networks to push out malicious links and collect information on compromised devices. “This is one of the first times that we’ve seen a malicious distribution network clearly posing as an ad network,” wrote Lookout’s Marc Rogers on the company blog. He speculated that the new tactic may reflect improved security on the Google Play app store following the introduction of the Bouncer malware scanner. Lookout said that the company notified Google, which removed the […]