Technology Mobiles and Tabs 26 Apr 2016 Dangerous: New-age m ...

Dangerous: New-age malwares can discreetly infect your smartphone

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 26, 2016, 4:31 pm IST
Updated Apr 26, 2016, 4:31 pm IST
Spam advertising has been significant issue for Android device users but ‘malvertising’ is the latest addition to their list of concern.
Researchers have now come across a new mobile malware distribution campaign that facilitates infecting devices with ransomware without any user interaction. (Representational image)
 Researchers have now come across a new mobile malware distribution campaign that facilitates infecting devices with ransomware without any user interaction. (Representational image)

Mumbai: Smartphones have become an irreplaceable part of our demanding lives but users should now be cautious about abundant malevolent malwares that have the capability to breach any device without even touching it.

As per recent reports, researchers have now come across a new mobile malware distribution campaign that facilitates infecting devices with ransomware without any user interaction.

 

The root cause is a malicious Javascript code which is triggered when users visit a infected website. According to Blue Coat Labs, the malicious code is delivered via advertisements and the process is termed ‘malvertising’.

Moreover, security researchers from Zimperium have confirmed that the hacking team data breach leaked last year had a similar malicious code.

‘Malvertising’ hits Android devices

While the problem with spam advertising has been significant for all Android device users, malvertising is the latest addition to their list of concern.

 

The malicious code injected into the system utilises vulnerability in the libxslt Android library, allowing attackers to download a Linux ELF binary called module.so on the device.

According to the Softpedia report, the binary code uses a rooting toolkit, dubbed Towelroot Android, to get rooting privileges on a particular device. Once rooting has been enabled, the module.so downloads an additional Android APK with the ransomware code.

Using the root access, the hacker or attacker can discreetly plant the ransomware on a user’s device without any permission.

 

While all Android devices are constantly in danger of getting infected, older devices face a greater risk. The ransomware Trojan in discussion is Cyber.Police, first discovered in December 2014.

In comparison to desktop-based ransomwares that encrypt files, the Cyber.Police ransomware locks the user’s screen and ask them to purchase two Apple iTunes gift cards worth $100 each.  

While demanding Apple iTunes gift cards may seem uncanny to some, these gift cards can be passed around as virtual currency in the underground hacking market.

 

At a time when malwares can be deployed remotely without even touching a device, users should be cautious about the content they download or view, as clicking on any phising or suspicious link is enough give access to these malwares .

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