Earlier this month, Google disclosed that a supply chain attack by one of its vendors resulted in malicious software being pre-installed on millions of new budget Android devices. Google didn’t exactly name those responsible, but said it believes the offending vendor uses the nicknames “Yehuo” or “Blazefire.” What follows is a deep dive into the identity of that Chinese vendor, which appears to have a long and storied history of pushing the envelope on mobile malware.
A little-known feature of many modern smartphones is their ability to duplicate video on the device’s screen so that it also shows up on a much larger display — like a TV. However, new research shows that this feature may quietly expose users to a simple and cheap new form of digital eavesdropping.
Dubbed “video jacking” by its masterminds, the attack uses custom electronics hidden inside what appears to be a USB charging station. As soon as you connect a vulnerable phone to the appropriate USB charging cord, the spy machine hijacks the phone’s video display and records a video of everything you tap, type or view on it as long as it’s plugged in — including PINs, passwords, account numbers, emails, texts, pictures and videos.
-Sept. 9, 12:30 p.m. CT, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico: Halfway down the southbound four-lane highway from Cancun to the ancient ruins in Tulum, traffic inexplicably slowed to a halt. There was some sort of checkpoint ahead by the Mexican Federal Police. I began to wonder whether it was a good idea to have brought along the ATM skimmer instead of leaving it in the hotel safe. If the cops searched my stuff, how could I explain having ultra-sophisticated Bluetooth ATM skimmer components in my backpack?
Normally, I don’t cover vulnerabilities about which the user can do little or nothing to prevent, but two newly detailed flaws affecting hundreds of millions of Android, iOS and Apple products probably deserve special exceptions.
In March 2013 I wrote about Perkele, a crimeware kit designed to create malware for Android phones that can help defeat multi-factor authentication used by many banks. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this threat, examining the malware as it is presented to the would-be victim as well as several back-end networks set up by cybercrooks who have been using Perkele to fleece banks and their customers.
An explosion in malware targeting Android users is being fueled in part by a budding market for mobile malcode creation kits, as well as a bustling market for hijacked or fraudulent developer accounts at Google Play that can be used to disguise malware as legitimate apps for sale.
It may not be long before your mobile phone is beset by the same sorts of obnoxious, screen-covering, scaremongering ads pimping security software that once inundated desktop users before pop-up blockers became widely-used.
Richard M. Smith, a Boston-based security consultant, was browsing a local news site with his Android phone when his screen was taken over by an alarming message warning of page errors and viruses. Clicking anywhere on the ad takes users to a Web site selling SnapSecure, a mobile antivirus and security subscription service that bills users $5.99 a month.
An attack late last week that compromised the personal and business Gmail accounts of Matthew Prince, chief executive of Web content delivery system CloudFlare, revealed a subtle but dangerous security flaw in the 2-factor authentication process used in Google Apps for business customers. Google has since fixed the glitch, but the incident offers a timely reminder that two-factor authentication schemes are only as secure as their weakest component.
In a blog post on Friday, Prince wrote about a complicated attack in which miscreants were able to access a customer’s account on CloudFlare and change the customer’s DNS records. The attack succeeded, Prince said, in part because the perpetrators exploited a weakness in Google’s account recovery process to hijack his CloudFlare.com email address, which runs on Google Apps
Adobe Systems Inc. today issued a security update to its Flash Player software. The company stressed that the update fixes a critical vulnerability that malicious actors have been using in targeted attacks.
Adobe released an emergency security update today to fix a vulnerability that the company warned is being actively exploited in targeted attacks designed to trick the user into clicking on a malicious link delivered in an email message. The vulnerability… Read More »