As indicated in a report recently posted by Avast in its official blog, it seems that a number of cheap non-Google-certified Android powered mobile devices have shipped preinstalled with a type of malware that could have users unknowingly download apps they should not be utilizing or accessing.
A team of security researchers from SophosLabs has detected a form of malware that hides in more than half a dozen Android powered mobile apps that already listed in the Google Play store. As reported by ZDNet, the apps included six QR code (Quick Response code) readers, as well as a smart compass.
One can argue that for any adult right now, the smartphone is highly likely the most personal piece of technology he or she owns. Indeed, there are a lot of reasons supporting this idea -- after all, we carry our smartphones just about everywhere we go, and our handsets basically carry all sorts of very personal information, including passwords, bank and credit card information, contact information of family, friends, and colleagues, and loads of potentially sensitive pictures. It is no surprise then that hackers now are looking to hack our mobile devices more than our personal computers.
A research team from Netlab360, a company that specializes in developing cybersecurity solutions, has found that hackers are transforming thousands of Android powered mobile devices and smart TVs into miners for the Monero cryptocurrency. As reported by ZDNet, these hackers have successfully breached 7,000 handsets in China alone.
According to a research team from Kaspersky Lab, a Russia based company that specializes in developing and selling cybersecurity solutions, 2017 saw at least 1.2 million users who own mobile devices powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system encounter malware that were disguised as pornographic content. The firm estimates that 4.9 million people had suffered from malware attacks last year, which meant that around a quarter of that volume got malware disguised as porn.
Apple has said this week that Meltdown and Spectre, the two newly discovered processor security vulnerabilities, can impact almost all of its devices, including iPhones, iPad tablets, and even Mac computers. But the tech giant is also taking the opportunity to point out that risk can be reduced significantly if Apple users make sure to download the newest software updates, which come with fixes for one of the flaws.
This week, Check Point revealed that a malware called CopyCat has managed to infect over 14 million Android powered mobile devices across the globe. According to Check Point researchers, the malware’s M.O. was to root handsets and hijack mobile apps in order to generate millions of cash through fraudulent advertising.
According to security firm Check Point, a certain malware called Googlian has apparently already affected over a million Google accounts, and the number of infected accounts is growing by the day. Basically, what this piece of malicious software does is steal the authentication tokens used by handsets and then use them to gain unauthorized access to private and sensitive information stored on Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, and Google Drive, among many other programs. As explained by Check Point via a blog post, Googlian is infecting users at a rate of 13,000 mobile devices each day.
According to a report released by security firm Kryptowire, certain commercial firmware preloaded on a number of Android powered mobile devices released in the United States smartphone market are actually transmitting personal information to a third party in China. The personal information being sent consisted of mobile users’ contacts lists, phone call logs, text messages, data on app usage, and even location information. Perhaps one of the most pressing questions right now is which devices exactly have this firmware preinstalled?
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