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Thousands of Android Users fall Victim to Giveaway Fraud
Upwards of 65,000 Android users were potentially compromised after installing a malicious app promising free giveaways. Over the year the scam was in effect, roughly 5,000 apps were spoofed to lure victims into downloading in exchange for a phony giveaway. In reality, the infection pushes silent background ads which generate ad revenue for the scammers and decrease device performance.
North American Real Estate Firm Hit by Ransomware
A new ransomware variant known as DarkSide claimed its first victim, Brookfield Residential, after operating for nearly two weeks. The North American real estate developer recently noticed unauthorized access to several systems and was left a ransom note stating that over 200GB of data had been stolen. The data has since been published to DarkSide’s leak site, which has prompted many to speculate the ransom was not paid by Brookfield Residential.
Cryptominers Caught Using AI
Researchers have been at work creating an AI algorithm to detect malicious cryptocurrency miners while avoiding legitimate ones. The detection method compares currently running miners to graphs of both legitimate and illegitimate miners and monitors changes between the processes being used and the scheduling of mining activity. This type of detection may be put to use to decrease the overall use of malicious code that can often tax the system’s CPU usage to max capacity.
Los Angeles School District Suffers Cyber Attack
Just weeks after the FBI issued a warning about the threat of cyberattacks against school districts, the Rialto School District in California has fallen victim to just such an attack. These setbacks have made the return to online schooling particularly difficult. The extent of the attack remains unclear and officials are still working to determine the effects on the 25,000 enrolled students.
Maze Ransomware Cartel Adds New Variant Team
The authors of the lesser-known ransomware variant SunCrypt have recently joined forces with the Maze ransomware cartel. It’s believed the new cartel members were brought in to assist with the high volume of attacks that the Maze Group is handling and are being paid with a portion of its profits. In addition to new revenue streams from its partnership with the organization, cartel members also benefit from access to the Maze Group’s resources including obfuscation techniques and posting cartel member’s stolen data to their dedicated leak site.
The post Cyber News Rundown: Android Giveaway Fraud appeared first on Webroot Blog.
Hundreds of millions of devices, especially Android smartphones and tablets, using Qualcomm chipsets, are vulnerable to a new set of potentially serious vulnerabilities. According to a report cybersecurity firm CheckPoint shared with The Hacker News, the flaws could allow attackers to steal sensitive data stored in a secure area that is otherwise supposed to be the most protected part of a
The Hacker News
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xHelper is not interesting because of its infection mechanism; the user has to side-load an app onto his phone. It’s not interesting because of its payload; it seems to do nothing more than show unwanted ads. it’s interesting because of its persistence:
Furthermore, even if users spot the xHelper service in the Android operating system’s Apps section, removing it doesn’t work, as the trojan reinstalls itself every time, even after users perform a factory reset of the entire device.
How xHelper survives factory resets is still a mystery; however, both Malwarebytes and Symantec said xHelper doesn’t tamper with system services system apps. In addition, Symantec also said that it was “unlikely that Xhelper comes preinstalled on devices.”
In some cases, users said that even when they removed the xHelper service and then disabled the “Install apps from unknown sources” option, the setting kept turning itself back on, and the device was reinfected in a matter of minutes after being cleaned.
We first began seeing Xhelper apps in March 2019. Back then, the malware’s code was relatively simple, and its main function was visiting advertisement pages for monetization purposes. The code has changed over time. Initially, the malware’s ability to connect to a C&C server was written directly into the malware itself, but later this functionality was moved to an encrypted payload, in an attempt to evade signature detection. Some older variants included empty classes that were not implemented at the time, but the functionality is now fully enabled. As described previously, Xhelper’s functionality has expanded drastically in recent times.
We strongly believe that the malware’s source code is still a work in progress.
It’s a weird piece of malware. That level of persistence speaks to a nation-state actor. The continuous evolution of the malware implies an organized actor. But sending unwanted ads is far too noisy for any serious use. And the infection mechanism is pretty random. I just don’t know.