Items tagged with Malware

We've simply grown accustomed to reading about Android malware on a regular basis, but this latest entry is both intriguing and incredibly dastardly in its deeds. Called Agent Smith, this malware has already infected 25 million Android devices globally with adware. Of those 25 million devices, India has been hit the hardest, taking the brunt of the attacks with 15 million infected devices. Agent Smith, which was first observed in the wild by Check Point Research earlier this year, has been coursing through the Google Play Store. After monitoring the its attack vector, Check Point Research was able to summarize Agent Smith's modus operandi into three parts. First, the malware lurks in... Read more...
182 Android apps have been linked to an adware campaign that has plagued users who download apps from Google Play. Trend Micro detected the adware campaign identified as AndroidOS_HiddenAd.HRXAA and AndroidOS_HiddenAd.GCLA. The adware was hidden inside free-to-download game and camera apps, the majority of which were found on the Google Play Store and had millions of downloads collectively. The adware behind the campaign was disguised as game and camera apps and was discovered in mid-June. Trend Micro says that it generated heuristic patterns that were used to analyze other samples it had detected and were able to deduce that the adware campaign had been active since 2018. All of the apps that... Read more...
This mobile app is definitely something to scream about in more ways than one. The Android game “Scary Granny ZOMBYE Mod: The Horror Game 2019” s stealing users’ Google and Facebook data. The malicious app attempts to siphon both data and money from its users to attackers.  “Scary Granny ZOMBYE Mod: The Horror Game 2019” was a horror game that mimicked another popular Android game “Granny”. Users were tasked with running away from zombies while uncovering extra lives and various weapons. The game was installed over 50,000 times and boasted a 4-star review in the Google Play store before it was removed on June 27th. Image credit: Wandera Security... Read more...
It is often recommended that one of the best ways to avoid malware on mobile devices is to stick with established, reputable app stores. The two big ones are Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store, for Android and iOS, respectively. But is this a foolproof way to avoid malware? The answer is no, according to a two-year study. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Data61. It focused solely on Android apps in the Play Store. The researchers found that counterfeit apps impersonating popular legitimate apps have become so sneaky that even a tech-savvy user might struggle to detect that something is... Read more...
With good intentions, Samsung took to Twitter to remind smart TV owners to scan their televisions for malware, and the Internet reacted about as you would expect. Snarky and indignant replies followed, and of course so did the jokes. And with good reason—after all, Samsung just made one heck of an argument to avoid buying a smart TV. We understand that periodically scanning our PCs for viruses and other malware comes with the territory. To a lesser extent, this can be true of smartphones and tablets, particularly if you venture away from reputable store fronts to grab your apps. But have we really reached a point where we must also scan our TVs? Apparently so, according to Samsung, which... Read more...
An auction for a netbook model from 2008 that is running Windows XP SP3 has fetched more than $1.3 million from its final bid, with the buyer owning quite possibly the most expensive laptop in the world. Why did it sell for so much? It contains half a dozen malware samples that have collectively caused over $95 billion in financial damages. The laptop is appropriately called "The Persistence of Chaos" and, according to the seller, it is an art piece. Guo O Dong, a "contemporary Internet artist whose work critiques modern day extremely-online culture," collaborated with Deep Instinct, a cybersecurity company, which provided the malware. Normally, a Samsung NC10 netbook would be an innocuous piece... Read more...
WhatsApp, a Facebook property, has issued a warning to users of its app and is asking users to upgrade to the latest version of the app. Reports surfaced this week that a company based in Israel has been able to successfully install malware that could listen in on phone calls made via WhatsApp. While WhatsApp confirmed the vulnerability, it didn't name the company that allegedly has the capability of listening in on conversations. WhatsApp is calling for users of its app to update to the latest version of the app and to make sure that their mobile operating system is up to date to protect against targeted exploits designed to compromise information that is stored on the mobile devices. The... Read more...
Where is Neo when you need him? We don't have an answer for that, but Morpheus has been making an appearance on some business PCs, just not in the manner you might think. His mug is part of a message that is delivered by a new ransomware strain called "MegaCortex," which is a misspelled reference to MetaCortex, the faceless software company in The Matrix where Neo worked at. This is not the kind of sequel or reboot that fans might have been hoping for. Security outfit Sophos says it recently saw a "jolt of life" from this ransomware strain, with a spike in the number of attacks around the world, including Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. Those behind MegaCortex... Read more...
A widely used banking Trojan that has been wreaking havoc in the wild for over a decade has developed a new ability. Called Qakbot (or Qbot for short), the Trojan has been found to be using an updated persistence mechanism that can make it more difficult for users to detect and subsequently remove from infected systems, security researchers say. On infected systems, Qakbot attempts to steal login credentials, with the ultimate goal of draining a victim's bank account. It does this by utilizing scheduled tasks to maintain persistence. However, those tasks have been updated to evade detection, making an already pesky piece of malware even more bothersome. "Victims of this malware are typically... Read more...
Even for the more freaky among you, avoiding "The Nasty List" on Instagram is in your best interest. We are not being prudes, by any means—go ahead and let your freak flag fly, if that is what you are all about. However, this so-called list we are referring to is actually a phishing scam that seeing people's accounts get hacked. If you are on Instagram, you may get a direct message saying something to the effect of, "OMG your [sic] actually on here, @TheNastyList_34, your number is 15! its [sic] really messed up." The message will contain a link to the supposed list, but there is no actual list—the URL directs users to a fake Instagram login site, in the hopes of stealing that your... Read more...
Malware is rampant on the Google Play store and is something that Google is trying to get a handle on. Apple has much less of an issue with malware on its App Store because it forces a review process for every app that wants to be distributed on the app store. That doesn't mean that malware and nefarious apps can't make their way through. Mobile security firm Lookout says that a developer has been able to abuse Apple-issued security certificates to bypass the App Store and target Apple devices. The app hid as a carrier assistance app, and once it was installed, it has wide-ranging permissions that allow it to silently capture the compromised device contacts, audio recordings, photos, videos,... Read more...
CT scans are essential tools that help medical practitioners detect various medical conditions. Healthcare providers rely on the accuracy of these technologies, because a misdiagnosis could prove fatal. Unfortunately, this vital technology is vulnerable to hackers. Researchers recently designed malware that can add or take away fake cancerous nodules from CT and MRI scans. Researchers at the University Cyber Security Research Center in Israel developed malware that can modify CT and MRI scans. During their research, they showed radiologists real lung CT scans, 70 of which had been altered. At least three radiologists were fooled nearly every time. A CT Scan of a brain trauma. Image from Rehman... Read more...
The eighth and final season of HBO's popular Game of Thrones series is nearly upon us, which means that winter is finally coming. That also means an invasion of malware. Not from HBO, mind you, but through the sometimes sordid torrent community where illegal downloads flourish. As it were, Game of Thrones is the top TV show torrent used to cover up malware, according to data by Kaspersky. Kaspersky's full report includes plenty of interesting data. To start with, it found that the total number of users who encountered malware piggybacking on TV show torrents in 2018 was 126,340. That's actually a 33 percent decrease from 2017, though still a relatively large number. Game of Thrones topped The... Read more...
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hit Office Depot with a $25 million fine for its part in an expansive scheme to trick customers into paying for oftentimes unnecessary computer repairs. Office Depot used software provided by Support.com to in effect lie to customers about the existence of viruses and malware on their computers. According to the FTC report, Office Depot stores used software called PC Health Check, which was supplied by Support.com. Office Depot offered up the software as a free tool that would tell a customer if their system was compromised by malware. However, according to the FTC, the PC Health Check software presented customers with a “No Win Scenario”, to... Read more...
Remember when malware on mobile devices was not really a thing? Neither do we, not anymore. Hackers and cyber miscreants go where the numbers are, and there are a lot of people who own a mobile device these days. As it relates to that, a security firm has discovered a serious vulnerability in a hugely popular Android app. Called UC Browser, the app has been downloaded by more than 500 million Google Play users. It currently sits at a fractionally better than 4-star rating (out of 5 stars) out of around 19.5 million user reviews. In case you have never heard of it, UC Browser is a free web browser for Android devices that allows users to search, download, share videos, and so forth. Developed... Read more...
Hold onto your wallet. Researchers at ESET have discovered the first known instance of a relatively new strain of cryptocurrency-stealing malware, called a "clipper", on the Google Play Store. They reported their findings to the Play Store's security team on February 1st, who quickly took down the offending application. The attack uses a remarkably simple trick to part users with their digital funds. Cryptocurrency values are assigned to a long, unique string of characters known as a wallet. In order to make a transaction, a sender typically needs to enter the recipient's wallet address in their app. This is similar to how you would put a real-world address on an envelope in order for it to be... Read more...
Google has removed over two dozen malicious Android apps from the Play Store that were collectively downloaded millions of times. The apps, which went to great lengths to appear legitimate, sent users pornographic content, redirected them to phishing websites, and collected photos under the guise of applying filters to them. The three most downloaded of the bunch were camera apps, and specifically Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo, and Emoji Camera. Each one notched over 1 million downloads. Several others were downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, such as Artistic Effect Filter, which racked up over half a million downloads. "These apps seemingly allows users to 'beautify' their pictures... Read more...
Google still has a massive malware problem within the Google Play store. In November, we learned that apps from Cheetah Mobile had been part of a massive click fraud scheme that saw apps from it and Kika Tech stealing millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. The apps had reportedly been downloaded around 2 billion times in total. A malware-infected QR Reader app had racked up 500,000 downloads in March of last year before being removed from the store. Now Google has reportedly removed another 85 apps from Google Play because they were malware laden. The batch of 85 apps wasn't removed from the Google Play store until analysts with Trend Micro discovered that the apps had malware inside.... Read more...
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced a new authentication standard that can be implemented for USB-C devices and complimenting chargers. USB-C Authentication, as it’s called, uses 128-bit “cryptographic-based authentication” to help mitigate potential security intrusions from USB thumb drives and chargers that could be used to deliver malicious payloads/firmware. The USB-IF says that with its new authentication protocol, the host device would be able to in effect enter in a secure “handshake” with another USB-C device, confirming its identify. At the moment the connection is made, the host would be able to determine “product aspects as the capabilities... Read more...
Typically when we talk about malware, we are talking about malicious code that is hidden inside software to try and take advantage of end users. An example is a malware that was hiding aboard a fake Adobe Flash update that was designed to install cryptocurrency mining software or other nefarious payloads. Earlier this month, another malware making the rounds was able to steal PayPal account balances despite users having two-factor authentication enabled. Today, a new malware has been identified and this one isn't attacking end users, it's attacking major newspapers around the U.S., underscoring new areas of concern with respect to IT security. The Los Angles Times has confirmed a malware attack... Read more...
Android malware authors are always out looking to make a buck, and it looks as though one particular outfit has struck gold. Researchers from ESET have come across a malicious app called Optimization Android that presents itself as a battery conditioning tool. Image Source: ESET However, the app doesn't actually provide any power optimizations at all. Instead, it simply immediately shuts down when it's opened. However, in the background it is waiting to perform its dastardly deeds. When first installed, the app asks the user for permission to access Android Accessibility services, which is later cleverly used to infiltrate the PayPal payment service. Here's how it works: the Android Accessibility... Read more...
With the value of Bitcoin once again experiencing a big drop this past week, you may begin to think that malware developers would begin shifting focus elsewhere. Unfortunately, that's far from being the case. Even if crypto seems to have modest value, that value becomes substantial when you multiply it by every infected machine; it really is easy money for attackers. In case we needed a reminder that Linux is in fact susceptible to viruses, this latest malware targets that platform specifically. Ultimately, two vulnerabilities need to be exploited (CVE-2016-5195 and CVE-2013-2094) to gain root access, and in effect, full control over the system. Once access is gained to the system, a large 1,000-line... Read more...
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