Android.RoidSec has the package name “cn.phoneSync”, but an application name of “wifi signal Fix”. From a ‘Malware 101′ standpoint, you would think the creators would have a descriptive package name that matches the application name. Not so, in this case. So what is Android.RoidSec? It’s a nasty, malicious app that sits in the background (and avoids installing any launcher icon) while collecting all sorts of info-stealing goodness. Continue reading →
Recently, we discovered a new malicious Android application called Android.MouaBot. This malicious software is a bot contained within another basic app; in this case, a Chinese calculator application. Behind the scenes, it automatically sends an SMS message to an auto-reply number which replies back to the phone with a set of commands/keywords. This message is then parsed and the various plugins within the malicious packages are run or enabled.
Just as we anticipated earlier this year in our “How mobile spammers verify the validity of harvested phone number” post, mobile spammers and cybercriminals in general will continue ensuring that QA (Quality Assurance) is applied to their upcoming campaigns. This is done in an attempt to both successfully reach a wider audience and to charge a higher price for a verified database of mobile numbers.
In this post I’ll profile yet another commercially available phone/mobile number verification tool that’s exclusively supporting Huawei 3G USB modems.
On Wednesday, February 27th, Webroot’s Security Intelligence Director (Grayson Milbourne) and Senior Mobile Analyst (Armando Orozco) presented at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Their topic, Android Malware Exposed – An In-depth Look at its Evolution, is an expansion on their previous year’s presentation, highlighting the severity of Android malware growth. Focusing on the history of operating system releases and the diversity across the market, as well at the threat vectors and behaviors in the evolution of Android malware, the team has established strong predictions for 2013. Continue reading →
The mobile landscape has boomed in the last couple of years mostly in part because of Android devices and social networking. This has opened the door for everyone to have access to a smartphone and have the cyber world at their fingertips. Smartphones have become an extension of us, and we now have our email, banking, social networking, television and internet on the go. We live in a world of instant access.
With this excitement and convenience, we may lose track something we take serious is our privacy and security. Looming in this mobile landscape are people who want benefit from our oversight and continuous usage. Continue reading →
Need a good reason not to connect to the public Web with your phone? Wonder where all that SMS spam is coming from? Keep reading.
Mobile phone spammers have recently released a new version of a well known phone number harvesting tool, whose main objective is to crawl the public Web and index mobile phone numbers, which will later be used for various malicious and fraudulent purposes.
Be wary the next time you enter your passcode into your iPhone on the bus – someone could be shoulder surfing. In fact, a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina has developed a system to watch you pecking out characters on your phone, analyse the video, and produce a pretty accurate guess of what you were typing.
When people talk about key loggers, they’re usually thinking about malware that sits on a computer and surreptitiously monitors what keys people are pressing. But these university researchers are applying an entirely different approach to key logging. Instead of putting software on computers, they are investigating ways to monitor the text that people input into their mobile phones. They do it by taking video of your phone, either directly (over your shoulder or from the side), or simply by reading the reflections of your phone’s screen in your glasses.
The researchers developed a mechanism for looking at mobile phone screens using cheap, mobile videocameras. The cameras record video of people typing on ‘soft’ keyboards, such as those used by Apple’s iPhone. These keyboards commonly use ‘pop out’ animations, in which the key being pressed gets bigger when pressed, to confirm to the user that they have selected the right letter. The pop-out animation makes it easier to see which keys are being pressed in the video.
Mobile cameras have increased dramatically in quality lately, making them far more capable of capturing reflected keyboard images. These cameras are embedded in smartphones, of course, or if you wanted to get even techier, you could buy one of these.
You’ve heard of the “perfect storm”? Well, there may be one brewing in Android-land. We just wrapped up a study that revealed holiday shopping is about to go mobile—in a big way. Turns out, overtwo times more shoppers plan to buy gifts on their mobile device this year. Over two times more?! It got me thinking…
As sleigh bells start ringing and shoppers reach for their mobile devices, I can just imagine cybercriminals licking their lips. We’ve seen two popular tactics for Android malware: gaining remote access to your device’s data and sending texts to premium numbers. Of course the end goal is the same for both routes: money, money, money. And what more profitable time to go after the pot of gold than during the busy gift-buying season?
But here’s one more thing to consider: We can’t single out Android devices, because malware isn’t the only risk. The portability of iOS-based smartphones and tablets means they can easily fall into the wrong person’s hands—and whatever data is on that device would go with it.
So before you hit the “mobile mall” on Black Friday, take a few simple steps to protect yourself and your data:
Lock your device. Most smartphones and tablets give you a choice of locking it with a password, numeric code or pattern. Use it.
Know your apps. Only download apps from trusted sources, and never install apps that want to access functions they don’t need, like the ability to send SMS messages. And it’s always smart to check out reviews by users and the experts before installing.
Use caution when connecting to WiFi hotspots. Avoid banking, making purchases, or logging into secure websites when connecting to WiFi hotspots.
Install mobile security. Mobile security apps provide lost device protection, secure web browsing, and antimalware services. Webroot offers several free and premium versions of Webroot® SecureAnywhere™ for protecting devices on the iOS and Android operating systems.
The bottom line: Be a savvy shopper, whether you’re on your Android at the airport or your computer at home. ‘Tis the season to shop safely.
Rogue Android apps are making their way into alternative markets. Yes, we’ve seen some malicious apps trickle through and they can be elusive. But we’re now seeing markets that are only hosting malware. These rogues are of the premium rate SMS variety and request the user to send a bounty if they want the app. The interesting thing is that the websites they’re hosted on are very well put together and you can see that a great deal of time was put into creating them.
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These well-crafted websites follow a similar layout; they have device reviews, app descriptions with screenshots, QR Codes and FAQs. So far, we’ve only found these websites aimed at Russian users, with the web pages written in Russian. The descriptions are similar to those in the Android Market and the screenshots appear to be taken from the market. We are discovering that this network of SMS Trojans is fairly large. Continue reading →