Attacks/Breaches
2/25/2011
05:02 PM
50%
50%

Android Spyware Distributed By Third Party Online Marketplaces

On the heels of HongTouTou, Chinese security firm NetQin has found spyware -- SW.SecurePhone and SW.Qieting -- that collects messages, call logs, and other data.

Security experts have found more malware targeting Android smartphones, less than two weeks after the click fraud app dubbed HongTouTou was found in a variety of applications on third-party online marketplaces.

Security firm NetQuin Mobile reported Friday that it had discovered in the wild two spyware programs named SW.SecurePhone and SW.Qieting. The latest malware reflects the growing number of Trojans, spyware, and other malicious applications targeting smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

SW.SecurePhone is primarily distributed in the U.S. through third-party online marketplaces. Once installed, the app runs in the background, monitoring phone activity and saving collected data on the SD card. Captured data includes messages, call log, location of the phone, recorded sounds around the phone, and pictures, according to NetQin.

Data stolen from the phone is uploaded to a remote server every 20 minutes, compromising the phone user's privacy and eating up allotted data in the user's data plan. SW.Qieting, which has been found outside the U.S., also runs in the background and automatically forwards messages received by a phone.

NetQin, a large mobile security firm in China, said it was the first to discover the Geinimi Trojan last November. The malware started in China and attracted the attention of security experts because of its sophistication. Lookout, a U.S. mobile security firm, said Geinimi was the first Android malware found in the wild to display "botnet-like capabilities.

"Once the malware is installed on a user's phone, it has the potential to receive commands from a remote server that allow the owner of that server to control the phone," the company said in its blog.

Lookout discovered the HongTouTou Trojan this month, finding the malware within Android apps in third-party marketplaces. HongTouTou was found repackaged in a well-known game called RoboDefense and in a variety of wallpaper apps.

HongTouTou was built to commit click fraud, which is the use of an app to automate fake clicks on online advertising. Ad publishers often receive compensation based on the number of clicks on an ad. The number of fake clicks recorded on ads increased in the fourth quarter of last year to19.1% from 15.3% in the same period a year ago, Click Forensics reported.

Android apps are more vulnerable to malware implants because Google allows the apps to be offered by third-party app stores, which may not monitor submissions closely. By comparison, Apple takes a walled garden approach by vetting all apps before publishing them on its App Store.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8921
Published: 2015-03-01
The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...

CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.