Google’s annual Android security report illustrates Check Point’s dominance in mobile threat defense research

 
Google published its annual security report yesterday for the Android ecosystem. The report includes many commendable efforts by Google to improve the security of users, and fight back against the raging surge of malware. One of the major actions Google has introduced this year was working alongside security vendors to eradicate malware from the ecosystem, a task Check Point was happy to contribute to. 70% of the malware Google cites in the report was discovered and brought to the public attention by Check Point’s mobile security researchers. This is a good indication of the major role played by Check Point's researchers in protecting the entire mobile ecosystem, while identifying and ...

Three Key Takeaways from WikiLeaks’ Release of CIA Documents

 
The latest revelations by WikiLeaks, collectively called the “Vault 7 Leak”, have caused quite a commotion in the security world, reinvigorating myths that were previously viewed as theoretical. There are already several lessons to be learned from WikiLeaks’ most recent data dump, and we offer you three top takeaways from the initial document disclosure.   1. Every connected device can be hacked The publication details exploitation techniques for all sorts of electronic devices: from PCs and laptops, to mobile devices, and even to Smart TVs and connected cars. While these techniques are not groundbreaking, the sheer scope of hackable devices revealed in the CIA trove is ...

Preinstalled Malware Targeting Mobile Users

 
Check Point mobile threat researchers recently detected a severe infection in 36 Android devices belonging to a large telecommunications company and a multinational technology company. While this is not unusual, one detail of the attacks stands out. In all instances, the malware was not downloaded to the device as a result of the users’ use, it arrived with it. According to the findings, the malware were already present on the devices even before the users received them. The malicious apps were not part of the official ROM supplied by the vendor, and were added somewhere along the supply chain. Six of the malware instances were added by a malicious actor to the device’s ROM using ...

Android: the Perils of Popularity

 
Despite the long lines you see stretching from stores when a new iPhone comes out, Android phones rule. According to IDC, Android’s market share hovers at over 80 percent while iOS has a market share in the teens. Android’s popularity — and vulnerability to attacks — arise from Google’s decision to make Android an open OS. Being an open OS lets many manufacturers make devices that can run Android. However this leads to OS fragmentation when several vendors each release several models over several years resulting in thousands of active versions of Android. This wouldn’t be a big deal except each version has software vulnerabilities that must be patched. At best, it can take ...

The SMISHING threat – unraveling the details of an attack

 
  On January 26, a new smishing attack targeted users in the Czech Republic. Smishing, or SMS phishing, is a vector attackers use to send SMS messages from supposedly legitimate organizations.  These messages persuade users to download a malicious app, to provide private information like bank account or credit card details, or to click on a malicious URL. In this campaign, the attackers masqueraded as Czech Post, the Czech postal service to get users to download a malicious app containing a full-scale Trojan horse. Once users click the link, they are led to a fake Czech Post web page with a seemingly legitimate address. From there the malware downloads and installs immediately ...

Hummingbad Overtaken as Leading Mobile Malware in January’s Global Threat Impact Index

 
 Hummingbad has been overtaken as the leading mobile malware for the first time since February 2016, according to the new January Global Threat Impact Index from our Threat Intelligence Research Team. Hummingbad was replaced at the top of the ‘most wanted mobile malware’ by Triada, a modular backdoor for Android which grants super-user privileges to downloaded malware, as helps it to get embedded into system processes.  In total, mobile malware accounted for 9% of all recognized attacks while the Index ranked Kelihos, a botnet used in bitcoin theft, as the most prevalent malware family overall, with 5% of organizations globally being impacted by it. Overall the top 10 malware ...

Charger Malware Calls and Raises the Risk on Google Play

 
Several weeks ago, Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention detected and quarantined the Android device of an unsuspecting customer employee who downloaded and installed a 0day mobile ransomware from Google Play dubbed “Charger.” This incident demonstrates how malware can be a dangerous threat to your business, and how advanced behavioral detection fills mobile security gaps attackers use to penetrate entire networks.   Charger was found embedded in an app called EnergyRescue. The infected app steals contacts and SMS messages from the user’s device and asks for admin permissions. If granted, the ransomware locks the device and displays a message demanding ...

A Whale of a Tale: HummingBad Returns

 
  Check Point researchers have found a new variant of the HummingBad malware hidden in more than 20 apps on Google Play. The infected apps in this campaign were downloaded several million times by unsuspecting users. Check Point informed the Google Security team about the apps, which were then removed from Google Play. This new variant, dubbed ‘HummingWhale,’ includes new, cutting edge techniques that allow it to perform ad fraud better than ever before.   HummingBad is a malware first discovered by Check Point on customer’s devices in February 2016. HummingBad stands out as an extremely sophisticated and well-developed malware, which employed a ...

Malware Takes a Christmas Break in December’s Global Threat Index

 
Global malware attacks decreased by 8% in December compared with the previous month, with the popular Locky ransomware recording a huge 81% decrease per week, according to the latest monthly Global Threat Index from Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Research Team. This isn’t an invitation to businesses to sit back and relax, however. Our team predicts that this lull really is due to malicious cybercriminals taking a Christmas break – and, following the same trends last year, when December recorded a 9% drop in the number of malware attacks worldwide, we expect attack volumes to bounce back in January.   The Global Threat Index tracks malware attacks against ...

An In-depth Look at the Gooligan Malware Campaign

 
Check Point mobile threat researchers today published a technical report that provides deep technical analysis of the Gooligan Android malware campaign, which was first announced on November 30. The report discusses the ins and outs of how more than one million Google accounts were breached, potentially exposing messages, documents, photos, and other sensitive data. A new variant of the Android malware found by Check Point researchers in the SnapPea app in 2015, Gooligan roots devices and steals email addresses and authentication tokens stored on the device. With this information, an attacker can access a user's Google account data within Google Play, Google Photos, Gmail, Google ...