Android Security Gingerbread

Android 2.3 Gingerbread targeted with malware more than any other mobile OS

By on November 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread targeted with malware more than any other mobile OS

The latest numbers from Google (GOOG) reveal that Gingerbread was still the most widely used version of the Android platform as of October. The two-year old operating system is powering more than 50% of all Android devices in use and because of that, it is being targeted with malware more than any other mobile platform. According to a report from Kaspersky Lab, Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread accounted for 28% of all blocked malware attempts in the third quarter of 2012, while Ice Cream Sandwich accounted for 22% of blocked attempts. More →

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New malware sends your friends death threats through your email account

By on October 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM.

New malware sends your friends death threats through your email account

Death Threat Malware

If your sweet old grandmother sends you an email threatening to slit your throat, don’t worry: It’s just the malware talking. NBC’s TechNewsDaily reports that there’s a new strain of malware going around in Japan that takes control of users’ email accounts and uses them to send out death threats to a variety of targets. In fact, the malware is apparently so convincing that three people in Japan so far have been arrested because their email accounts have sent out death threats they didn’t write. More →

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iPhone app in Apple’s App Store found to contain… Windows malware?

By on July 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

iPhone app in Apple’s App Store found to contain… Windows malware?

IOS App Malware Windows

Apple’s (AAPL) stiff rules and extensive testing procedures have done a great job of keeping malware out of the iOS App Store. With just a few notable exceptions, iOS users have been able to download apps without having to worry that their personal data or their device itself might be compromised. As discovered by users and recently noted in Apple’s own support forum, however, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners who download apps using iTunes on Windows PCs might want to start exercising some caution. More →

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New Android malware runs rings around Google Play security protocols

By on July 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM.

New Android malware runs rings around Google Play security protocols

Android.Dropdialer Malware

Symantec has discovered a new piece of Android malware, since removed from the Google Play store, that managed to chalk up between 50,000 and 100,000 downloads of malicious apps before being identified. In a post on his company’s blog, Symantec researcher Irfan Asrar details how the malware disguised itself as popular games such as Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto 3 Moscow City, and then delivered its payload in incremental downloads to make it harder to detect. More →

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Apple’s spotless record tarnished by App Store’s first malicious spam app [updated]

By on July 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM.

Apple’s spotless record tarnished by App Store’s first malicious spam app [updated]

iPhone Malware Spam

Apple’s spotless record of keeping the App Store clear of malicious spam apps has been tarnished. Researchers at Kaspersky have discovered an app called “Find and Call” in Apple’s iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace, Forbes noted on Thursday. The malicious app masquerades as a tool for simplifying contact lists but it instead uploads a user’s full contact list to a remote server and proceeds to send SMS and email spam to every person in the list. “It’s not for the first time when we see incidents related to user’s personal data and its leakage,” Kaspersky’s Denis Maslennikov wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “It’s for the first time when we have a confirmed case of malicious usage of such data… Yes, these pieces of malware are not that ‘cybercriminalistic’. But malware is malware and in this case it steals user’s phone book and uses it for SMS spam.”

UPDATE: Apple has pulled “Find and Call” from the App Store. More →

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DNSChanger malware set to kick 277,000 computers off the web Monday

By on July 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM.

DNSChanger malware set to kick 277,000 computers off the web Monday

DNSChanger Malware Computers Offline

Anyone who hasn’t scanned their computer for malware some time during the past year should seriously do so before this coming Monday. That’s because the FBI estimates that roughly 277,000 computers worldwide — including 64,000 computers in the United States — will be knocked offline on July 9th due to a piece of malware that first started infecting PCs more than a year ago. Per The Associated Press, the malware in question was originally part of data-stealing scam that would rewrite machines’ DNS information to reroute sensitive data traffic such as credit card information to hackers’ servers. Although the FBI has successfully disrupted the scheme, it will shut off the hackers’ servers on Monday, meaning any user that still has the malware on his or her computer won’t be able to access the Web once they’re turned off. Anyone concerned that a machine might be infected can use the DNS Changer Check-Up website to see if the computer is still looking up IP addresses properly. More →

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Google finds almost 10,000 new malicious websites every day

By on June 19, 2012 at 9:50 PM.

Google finds almost 10,000 new malicious websites every day

Internet Malware Google

Google’s security blog on Tuesday revealed new details on how the search giant is keeping Internet users safe from malware. The Mountain View-based company protects 600 million users through built-in protection for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that warns users of dangerous websites. Every day the company encounters about 9,500 new websites that have been compromised or specifically designed for malware distribution. Approximately 12 million to 14 million Google Search queries, and 300,000 downloads, also trigger the company’s warning to caution users on a daily basis. “By protecting Internet users, webmasters, ISPs, and Google over the years, we’ve built up a steadily more sophisticated understanding of web-based malware and phishing,” Google wrote. “These aren’t completely solvable problems because threats continue to evolve, but our technologies and processes do, too.” More →

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Bizarre Android malware disrupts bizarre Japanese girl-band election

By on June 8, 2012 at 1:15 PM.

Bizarre Android malware disrupts bizarre Japanese girl-band election

Android malware attacks AKB48 fans

Symantec recently discovered what it’s calling “bizarre malware” that has been created to infect Android phones of fans who are voting in Japan’s premier annual girl-band election. Wait, what? Here’s the lowdown: there is a super-popular girl band in Japan called AKB48 that is made up of a rotating lineup of 64 — yes, 64 — different members. Every year, fans of the group vote for their favorite band members in a “general election.”  The winners of the election then go on to record a single together that will be released in celebration of girl-band democracy. More →

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Security firm claims OS X is 'really vulnerable' to malware

By on May 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Security firm claims OS X is 'really vulnerable' to malware

Apple's Mac OS X Vulnerable To Malware

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has begun to independently examine Apple’s Mac OS X platform and found that it’s highly vulnerable to malware. “As Mac OS X market share continues to increase, we expect cyber-criminals to continue to develop new types of malware and attack methods, ” the company’s CTO Nikolai Grebennikov said. “In order to meet these new threats, Kaspersky Lab has been conducting an in-depth analysis of Mac OS X vulnerabilities and new forms of malware.” Kaspersky Lab co-founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky previously said that Apple is a decade behind Microsoft in terms of computer security, a view Grebennikov shares. More →

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New malware exploits flaw in old versions of Office for Mac

By on May 4, 2012 at 7:30 PM.

New malware exploits flaw in old versions of Office for Mac

Malware exploits flaw in old versions of Office for Mac

Microsoft researchers recently discovered a piece of Mac OS X malware that exploits a three-year-old flaw in old versions of Office for Mac. The threat uses a multi-stage attack, just like a Windows virus would. While Microsoft did fix the problem in 2009, the software giant notes that not every machine is up-to-date. The company’s data indicates, however, that the malware is not widespread. “No operating system that exists outside a laboratory is entirely immune to malware,” Microsoft stated on its blog. “As different operating systems continue to gain in popularity they attract more attention from would-be attackers – especially since, as we see in the example analysis above, the techniques and understanding needed to do so may be much the same as those used against other platforms. And even though an operating system may include many risk-reducing mitigation technologies, any machine’s defenses against vulnerabilities are directly related to how current its security updates for applications are kept.” Microsoft concludes by warning users of Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac or Open XML File Format Converter for Mac to update their software in order to protect themselves from possible threats. More →

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Numerous websites found to contain malware specifically targeting Android devices

By on May 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM.

Numerous websites found to contain malware specifically targeting Android devices

Android malware found on numerous websites

Hacked websites are frequently used to infect PCs with malware, however the team at Lookout Mobile Security has discovered that hacked websites are specifically targeting Android-powered mobile devices for the first time. The malware, called NotCompatible, is a Trojan that poses as a system update but acts like a proxy redirect. After visiting an infected website, the Android mobile web browser will automatically begin downloading the NotCompatible malware, which is named “Update.apk.” Like any drive-by downloads, to become infected a user needs to install the downloaded application. The malware is found on a number of websites, but all have relatively low traffic. Lookout notes that the threat does not appear to cause any direct harm to an infected device, although it could potentially be used to gain illicit access to private networks by turning an infected Android device into a proxy. If an Android device has the “Unknown sources” settings disabled — thus disabling sideloading — the NotCompatible malware will be unable to install. More →

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Religious websites contain more malware than porn sites

By on May 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM.

Religious websites contain more malware than porn sites

Religious websites contain more malware than porn

People who browse religious websites are more likely to have their computers infected with a virus than those who visit pornographic websites, according to Symantec’s annual “Internet Security Threat Report.” The firm found that websites with religious or ideological themes had triple the average number of threats than those featuring adult content. “It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked tenth,” Symantec said. “We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free; it’s not good for repeat business.” The report was based on information gathered from more than 200 countries through the Symantec Global Intelligence Network. Symantec blocked a total of 5.5 billion attacks last year, an 81% increase from 2010. More →

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Flashback OS X malware estimated to generate creators $10,000 per day

By on May 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Flashback OS X malware estimated to generate creators $10,000 per day

Flashback OS X virus generates $10K per day

The “Flashback” virus that originated on a series of WordPress blogs and went on to infected more than 600,000 Mac computers last month may have generated its creators thousands of dollars each day. According to antivirus software firm Symantec, the Flashback malware has been generating revenue for its authors by hijacking users’ ad clicks, and due to the widespread nature of the infection, the authors could have been generating up to $10,000 per day. “Flashback specifically targets search queries made on Google and, depending on the search query, may redirect users to another page of the attacker’s choosing, where they receive revenue from the click,” the firm explained, adding that Google never receives the intended ad click. Symantec notes that ad-clicking Trojans are nothing new and a botnet of 25,000 infections could generate an author up to $450 per day. More →

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