Among the four dozen vulnerabilities Google patched this week was a fix for a bug that allowed attackers to inject malicious code into Android apps without affecting an app’s signature verification certificate.
The technique allows an attacker to circumvent device anti-malware protection and escalate privileges on targeted device with a signed app that appears to be from a trusted publisher, according to researchers. The vulnerability, dubbed Janus, was discovered earlier this summer by Eric Lafortune, CTO of GuardSquare. He reported the bug to Google in July.Read more
Checkpoint researchers discovered several vulnerabilities in Android application developer tools that put any organization that does Java/Android development at risk of an outsider gaining access to their system.
The vulnerability affects cross-platform users that use Android Studio, IntelliJ, Eclipse and APKTool and the most common Android Integrated Development Environment (IDES), according to the ParseDroid – Targeting The Android Development & Research Community report. Researchers said the attacks could be used to target any Android developer in any organization and that there are a lot of open source tools that are using APKTool.Read more
Personal data belonging to over 31 million customers of a popular virtual keyboard app has leaked online, after the app's developer failed to secure the database's server. The server is owned by Eitan Fitusi, co-founder of AI.type, a customizable and personalizable on-screen keyboard, which boasts more than 40 million users across the world.
But the server wasn't protected with a password, allowing anyone to access the company's database of user records, totaling more than 577 gigabytes of sensitive data. The database appears to only contain records on the app's Android users. The discovery was found by security researchers at the Kromtech Security Center, which posted details of the exposure.Read more
Researchers at YALE Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, rideshare, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.
Exodus security researchers identified 44 trackers in more than 300 apps for Google’s Android smartphone operating system. The apps have been downloaded billions of times. Yale Privacy Lab is working to replicate the Exodus findings and has already released reports on 25 of the trackers.Read more
This is bad. Google actively receives location data from Android users even when location services have been switched off. Starting from early 2017, Android phones have been gathering addresses of nearby cellular towers and sending this data back to Google. The most troubling part is that this has been going on even when users have disabled location services.
According to the publication, Android handsets collected location data pretty much all the time and subsequently relayed all stored information back to Google once connected to the internet. Quarts claims that all modern Android phones are affected by this vulnerability.Read more
More than one million people were tricked into downloading a fake Android app that was pretending to be WhatsApp. The app was called "Update WhatsApp" and is still on the Play Store, although the developer has now changed its name to "Dual Whatsweb Update" and switched the icon, which doesn't look like the WhatsApp icon anymore.
But before its facelift, the app mimicked WhatsApp in a clear attempt to trick users into downloading it thinking they were downloading an update for the popular messaging app, according to users who reviewed the app on the Play Store, and users on Reddit, who flagged the malicious app.Read more
The Internet is awash with covert crypto currency miners that bog down computers and even smartphones with computationally intensive math problems called by hacked or ethically questionable sites.
A new Android banking malware dubbed LokiBot comes with some ransomware capabilities and is being sold on the dark web for $2,000 worth of Bitcoins. Although LokiBot functions primarily as a banking Trojan, it can turn into a ransomware if attempts are made to disable the malware's admin rights or when victims try to remove it.
Once the ransomware feature is activated, LokiBot encrypts all of the victims' data. The malware is also capable of stealing victims' contacts, reading and sending SMS messages and locking out users from accessing their phones. LokiBot's main attack vector involves phishing overlays on numerous banking apps.Read more
Google is offering security experts a bounty to identify Android app flaws as the Alphabet Inc unit seeks to wipe out bugs from its Google Play store.
Each flaw will score at least $1,000 under the program announced on Thursday to back up automated checks that have failed to block malware and other problems that security experts say infect the 8-year-old app store far more than Apple Inc’s rival App Store. Google will partner with HackerOne, a bug bounty program management website, to target a list of apps and flaws such as those that allow a hacker to redirect a user to a phishing website or infect a gadget with a virus.Read more
Google has booted eight Android apps from its Play marketplace, even though the apps have been downloaded as many as 2.6 million times. The industry giant took action after researchers found that the apps add devices to a botnet and can perform denial-of-service attacks or other malicious actions.
The stated purpose of the apps is to provide a skin that can modify the look of characters in the popular Minecraft: Pocket Edition game. Under the hood, the apps contain highly camouflaged malware known as Android.Sockbot, which connects infected devices to developer-controlled servers.Read more