Mobile Security Weekly: Black Friday Security Threats, On Sale Now!

Ohad Babrov is co-founder and CTO at <a href=

Lacoon Mobile Security.” width=”115″ height=”75″ /> Ohad Bobrov is co-founder and CTO at Lacoon Mobile Security.

With Thanksgiving over and the holiday shopping season ahead of us, it’s no surprise that this week’s edition is closely tied to the biggest day of the year for technology shoppers. It seems that besides good deals, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also a major threat to the security of your user data and your money. The week’s other big story is DoubleDirect – a smart, effective and efficient new form of MitM attack that is being implemented all around the world.

Cheap Black Friday Android Tablets are Riddled with Security Holes

With some priced as low as $39.99, it looks like cheap Android tablets are going to be big Black Friday sellers this year. However, from a security perspective, it seem that they justify their very low price. Several of the tablets that are being sold at large chains like BestBuy and  Walmart are still susceptible to the Android “master key” vulnerability, which Google patched in late 2013. Walgreens’ Polaroid model and Kohl’s Zeki 7-incher also haven’t been patched against Heartbleed.

What’s more, some of the stock Android configurations had actually been modified to remove or disable built-in security features. A few of the tablets were found to have some form of backdoor. So it may be a good idea to check out Black Friday security issues before you go out and spend.

Why is this significant?

Besides placing another big question mark over Black Friday, this highlights just how potentially dangerous budget devices are. The examples above don’t necessarily mean that the cheap Android tablet (or phone) is a malware-ridden piece of espionage technology but can prove to be a severe hindrance to enterprise security.

Are Security Seals Safe Enough Ahead of Black Friday?

As mentioned above, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us. With many users choosing to shop online, researchers have discovered that buyers can’t rely on site with the security seal. Issuers of common good webkeeping seals of approval sometimes miss basic flaws and will just as easily certify phishing sites and inadvertently function as a hackers’ directory of vulnerable sites.

Researchers tested the top 10 website security seals from the likes of Symantec, Tinfoil Security and McAfee with all proving have various security issues and vulnerabilities.

Why is this significant?

This is obviously not just a mobile security issue. The technical details aren’t all that relevant. The important thing is to keep Black Friday security in mind when looking for discounts this weekend. Stay on well known, trusted sites and lookout for anything suspicious. The deals aren’t all that amazing anyway.

DoubleDirect MitM Attack Targets Android, iOS and Even OS X Users

Researchers have discovered a new “Man-in-the-Middle” (MitM) attack that is targeting both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets worldwide. DoubleDirect enables a threat actor to redirect a victim’s traffic on websites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to a device controlled by the attacker.

This allows thieves to steal victims’ personal data, such as email or login credentials and banking information and can also push malware to the victim’s device. DoubleDirect is currently being used across 31 countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Why is this significant?

For obvious reasons, this an attack worth knowing about. This is an example of a technical and sophisticated attack that could do a lot of damage. DoubleDirect uses ICMP Redirect packets (a legitimate form of communication between routers and hosts) to direct traffic to a malicious location. The fact that it’s being used worldwide as well as the capability to affect multiple platforms make this a formidable threat.