Cheap Android phone comes shipped with spyware

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 19, 2014

Trojan masquerades as Google Play app; cannot be removed.

Researchers at German security firm G Data have discovered Android smartphones that come shipped with spyware.

The phone is the N9500 from Chinese manufacturer Star, which appears to be very similar to the popular Samsung S5, but with a much lower price tag. Following reports from customers, G Data researchers decided to purchase the phone and confirmed that it contained the trojan known as Android.Trojan.Uupay.D.

This trojan masquerades as the legitimate Google Play app, making its activities invisible to the phone's user. To make matters worse, as it is part of the firmware, the app cannot be removed from the device. Intercepted data is sent to a server located in China, while the malware also prevents the installation of security updates.

Of course, there is only one sensible piece of advice regarding this phone, which is to avoid it completely. Thankfully, most web stores appear to have stopped selling it.

Another security firm, FireEye, also reported a piece of Android malware that masquerades as the Google Play app. An analysis on the company's blog explains how this malware avoids detection by storing the payload as an encrypted attachment to a seemingly benign application.

This malware also steals data and sends it off to a Chinese server. However, it is unclear whether the two threats are related. Update: G Data's Eddy Willems says he believes they are not related.

Posted on 19 June 2014 by Martijn Grooten

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: DNS on fire

In a paper presented at VB2019, Cisco Talos researchers Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres looked at two recent attacks against DNS infrastructure: DNSpionage and Sea Turtle. Today we publish their paper and the recording of their presentation.

German Dridex spam campaign is unfashionably large

VB has analysed a malicious spam campaign targeting German-speaking users with obfuscated Excel malware that would likely download Dridex but that mostly stood out through its size.

Paper: Dexofuzzy: Android malware similarity clustering method using opcode sequence

We publish a paper by researchers from ESTsecurity in South Korea, who describe a fuzzy hashing algorithm for clustering Android malware datasets.

Emotet continues to bypass many email security products

Having returned from a summer hiatus, Emotet is back targeting inboxes and, as seen in the VBSpam test lab, doing a better job than most other malicious campaigns at bypassing email security products.

VB2019 paper: We need to talk - opening a discussion about ethics in infosec

Those working in the field of infosec are often faced with ethical dilemmas that are impossible to avoid. Today, we publish a VB2019 paper by Kaspersky researcher Ivan Kwiatkowski looking at ethics in infosec as well as the recording of Ivan's…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.