Vulnerabilities / Threats
8/17/2010
01:20 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Spyware Hidden In Android Snake Tap Game

Free app is paired with GPS Spy, software that monitors a targeted device's location.

Spyware Hidden In Android Snake Tap Game
(click image for larger view)
Spyware Hidden In Android Snake Tap Game
At first glance, the Android Market game Tap Snake appears to be a free, touchscreen clone of the popular "snake" computer game that dates from the 1970s -- and it is. But that's not all.

"It turns out to be a client for a commercial spying application called GPS Spy," according to Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure.

One giveaway that Tap Snake isn't just a game is that it accesses GPS services. Another is that even if a user attempts to disable the game, it still runs in the background.

According to the developer's description, tracking a phone with GPS Spy requires installing Tap Snake on the target phone and registering an e-mail address in the application, which generates a unique code. Input this code and the related e-mail into GPS Spy, and you can see a trace of the target phone's location for 24 hours, in 15-minute increments.

That's because every 15 minutes, Snake Tap will transmit its location "to an application running on Google's free App Engine service," according to Symantec's Security Response blog. "The silver lining here is that for the application to really be used maliciously, an attacker would need to have access to the phone to install the program."

Alternately, an attacker could trick someone into installing the program as well as accepting the application's requests to use specific APIs. "This would probably require a dash of social engineering as well -- something like 'Hey, let me show you this cool game,'" said Symantec. "Think cheating spouses or keeping tabs on children."

Of course, plenty of applications already provide such functionality, and clearly disclose what they do. In contrast, Snake Tap does not, which is why it's earning a "Trojan application" classification from antivirus providers.

"We expect Google to remove Tap Snake from Android Market soon," said F-Secure's Hypponen. It remains to be seen, however, whether Google might also trigger an Android-wide remote application removal.

Comment  | 
Email This  | 
Print  | 
RSS
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
All Videos
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4725
Published: 2014-07-27
The MailPoet Newsletters (wysija-newsletters) plugin before 2.6.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a crafted theme using wp-admin/admin-post.php and accessing the theme in wp-content/uploads/wysija/themes/mailp/.

CVE-2014-4726
Published: 2014-07-27
Unspecified vulnerability in the MailPoet Newsletters (wysija-newsletters) plugin before 2.6.8 for WordPress has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

CVE-2014-2363
Published: 2014-07-26
Morpho Itemiser 3 8.17 has hardcoded administrative credentials, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain access via a login request.

CVE-2014-2625
Published: 2014-07-26
Directory traversal vulnerability in the storedNtxFile function in HP Network Virtualization 8.6 (aka Shunra Network Virtualization) allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via crafted input, aka ZDI-CAN-2023.

CVE-2014-2626
Published: 2014-07-26
Directory traversal vulnerability in the toServerObject function in HP Network Virtualization 8.6 (aka Shunra Network Virtualization) allows remote attackers to create files, and consequently execute arbitrary code, via crafted input, aka ZDI-CAN-2024.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.
UPCOMING!
Wednesday, July 30, 1pm EDT

Hack My Ride: The State of Car (In)Security
FULL SCHEDULE | ARCHIVED SHOWS