Posted by Virus Bulletin on Sep 20, 2013
We speak to VB2013 presenter Rowland Yu about Android malware, his research interests, and what he aims to bring to VB2013.
The VB2013 conference takes place next month (2-4 October) in Berlin, with an exciting programme that covers many of today's most pertinent security-related topics.
Today, we speak to Rowland Yu, who will speak at VB2013 about GinMaster - one of the larges trojan families targeting the Android platform.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - your job and your responsibilities.
"I have worked as a virus threat researcher in SophosLabs since 2006. My day-to-day responsibilities include dealing with various kinds of malware and spam threats, providing generic detection, and working on engine enhancements from a technical analyst's perspective. During the last year and a half, I have focused on Android research and I now lead a team responsible for Android malware analysis."
Can you give us a brief outline of what you will be speaking about at VB2013?
"GinMaster is one of the longest and largest trojan families targeting the Android mobile system. In the paper, I will describe the malicious functionalities and techniques utilized in GinMaster malware and attempt to answer questions such as: 'What makes this Android malware family grow in volume and complexity?', 'Who is behind GinMaster?' and 'What business model drives their profits?'"
Why is your presentation particularly relevant to the security community?
"Mobile devices play a significant role in today's society. The Android operating system is now dominating mobile platforms. Alongside the popularity of Android OS, attacks against Android are growing faster than expected. How serious are these attacks? What types of attacks are they? And what protection can security providers, IT organizations and individuals take to prevent these attacks? The presentation attempts to address these issues by illustrating one of the most complex and sophisticated pieces of Android malware - GinMaster."
What can delegates learn from your presentation?
"The presentation demonstrates the significant evolution of three generations of malware by presenting GinMaster's trend chart, generation breakdown, and the technical teardown. The presentation also tries to disclose the malware's business model and profits for the purpose of illustrating the ecosystem of GinMaster. Furthermore, a typical sample like GinMaster can provide a comparison of the development of PC and Android malware, and help to understand the situation of Android malware in emerging countries especially in China, Thailand and Vietnam."
What other presentations are you looking forward to?
"I'm particularly looking forward to the Android papers, such as Samir Mody's paper on Android malware obfuscation and the nexGIN RC team's paper on hunting for rogue smartphone malware applications."
Have you visited Berlin before? What are you looking forward to seeing/doing whilst in town?
"I haven't been to Berlin before, but I am looking forward to visiting some of the world-famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, Fernsehturm Berlin, and Charlottenburg Palace."
Rowland Yu will present 'GinMaster: a case study in Android malware' at 09:00 on Thursday 3 October.
The full programme for VB2013, including abstracts for each paper, can be viewed here.
Read more about why you should attend VB2013 - and download our letter templates as a guide for justifying to your budget holder why you should attend VB2013.