Posts Categorized: Mobile security


Reflections on mobile security

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By Armando Orozco Be wary the next time you enter your passcode into your iPhone on the bus – someone could be shoulder surfing. In fact, a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina has developed a system to watch you pecking out characters on your phone, analyse the video, and produce a pretty accurate guess of what you were typing. When people talk about key loggers, they’re usually thinking about malware that sits on a computer and surreptitiously monitors what keys people are pressing. But these university researchers are applying an entirely different approach to key logging. […]

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‘Tis the season for mobile malware

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By Armando Orozco You’ve heard of the “perfect storm”? Well, there may be one brewing in Android-land. We just wrapped up a study that revealed holiday shopping is about to go mobile—in a big way. Turns out, over two times more shoppers plan to buy gifts on their mobile device this year. Over two times more?! It got me thinking… We know that Android malware is on the rise. Even Android users themselves seem aware of it; our mobile study also found that 23 percent more Android users are concerned with the security of their information than iOS users. And […]

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Top 7 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2012

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By Mel Morris From Stuxnet to Sony, a number of cyberattacks emerged in 2011 that experts have predicted for quite some time. I predict 2012 will be even more pivotal, thrusting cybersecurity into the spotlight. These are my top seven forecasts for the year ahead: 1) Targeted, zero-day attacks will be the norm. Looking back over the past year, an increasing number of breaches were the result of custom malware and exploits targeting specific enterprises. I predict 2012 will be the year of targeted attacks, which have slowly evolved from large-scale threats to unique attacks designed to infect a handful […]

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I don’t think it means what you think it means…

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Websites Hosting Android Trojans   By Armando Orozco and  Nathan Collier Rogue Android apps are making their way into alternative markets. Yes, we’ve seen some malicious apps trickle through and they can be elusive. But we’re now seeing markets that are only hosting malware. These rogues are of the premium rate SMS variety and request the user to send a bounty if they want the app. The interesting thing is that the websites they’re hosted on are very well put together and you can see that a great deal of time was put into creating them.  The Websites These well-crafted […]

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HTC acknowledges security flaw, plans update to fix

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A couple of days ago researchers for Android Police wrote about a security vulnerability in several HTC phones. The vulnerability lies with logging tools installed by HTC. These logging tools collect personal data like user accounts, email addresses, GPS info and SMS data. Having these tools logging users data is one thing but the fact that they are left unsecured and available to be exploited by a 3rd party app is a big blow to the device manufacturer. A 3rd party app would only need to request the INTERNET permission to gain access to the information collected by the tools. […]

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Five Summer Travel Security Tips

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Ah, summer. Beaches, drinks with little umbrellas, 4th of July fireworks, baseball games, reading long cheesy novels in a lounge chair, teleconferencing with colleagues from your hotel room in Aruba. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true. It takes serious discipline to travel without schlepping along a laptop, smartphone, digital camera, MP3 player, portable hard drive, SD cards, and a host of support equipment. Well, it does for me, anyway. Along with those devices come pitfalls, from loss to data theft. So, in the spirit of safe summer travel, in advance of the big 4th of July travel weekend, what follows are […]

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Android ‘Angry Birds’ Malware Contains Bot-like Code

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Most of yesterday, Threat Research Analyst Armando Orozco and I took a closer look at a piece of malware discovered by a university security researcher, Xuxian Jiang of North Carolina State. The malicious code, which the malware creator named Plankton, is embedded into a number of apps that were briefly posted to Google’s Android Market earlier this week, then rapidly pulled down after the researchers informed Google of their initial findings. The Plankton code appears in a number of applications that were all focused on the popular game series Angry Birds. Some of the samples we looked at came as […]

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Chinese Android Trojan Texts Premium Numbers

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By Andrew Brandt and Armando Orozco A Trojaned application that displays a cutesy image of a 2011 calendar on an Android device’s desktop comes with a nasty surprise: The app sends text messages to a premium service that charges the phone’s owner money. As first reported by the Taiwan-based AegisLab, a single developer, which went by the name zsone, published the apps to Google’s Android Market. All apps from that developer were pulled from the Market today by Google, though only some of them appeared to contain the undesirable code. We took a closer look at one of the apps, […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

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By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director The cloud delivery model gives vendors a great amount of power. It is easier to create, deploy, maintain and enhance a service than it has been at any other point in computing history. Just look at Facebook, which grew to 500 million members in a very short period of time. People readily share within it, many with a limited understanding of the potential risks to their private information. The ability to make an enhancement and almost instantly put it into the customer’s hands is immensely powerful – and immensely dangerous. If you’re a software […]

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The Big Picture for 2011 Security Trends

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By Gerhard Eschelbeck As 2010 winds down, I wanted to pull out the crystal ball and talk for a moment about where the security industry seems to be heading in the coming year, and where we anticipate threats and targets. Mobile platforms: If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have either an iPhone, an Android phone, or a Blackberry in your pocket, case, or on your desk right now. If that’s true, then the data on that device is the next big target for criminals, and the newest front in the war on cybercrime. Users have embraced the […]

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