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VB2019 paper: Domestic Kitten: an Iranian surveillance program

At VB2019 in London, Check Point researchers Aseel Kayal and Lotem Finkelstein presented a paper detailing an Iranian operation they named 'Domestic Kitten' that used Android apps for targeted surveillance. Today we publish their paper and the video of th…
Domestic Kitten: an Iranian surveillance program Read the paper (HTML) Download the paper (PDF)       In September last year, researchers at Check Point uncovered… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/11/vb2019-paper-d/

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.
The sharp rise in Android malware in recent years has led security researchers to look for efficient ways to cluster related samples, especially since the tools used for Windows… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/11/paper-dexofuzzy-android-malware-similarity-clustering-method-using-opcode-sequence/

Free VB2019 tickets for students

Virus Bulletin is excited to announce that, thanks to generous sponsorship from Google Android, we are able to offer 20 free tickets to students who want to attend VB2019.
Update 02 August 2019: Applications for free student tickets have now closed. Virus Bulletin is excited to announce that, thanks to generous sponsorship from Google Android, we… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/06/free-vb2019-tickets-students/

VB2018 paper and video: Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation

Static analysis and dynamic analysis each have their shortcomings as methods for analysing potentially malicious files. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay, in which they describe a method that combin…
Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation Read the paper (HTML) Download the paper (PDF)   The two most common methods for analysing potentially malicious… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/03/vb2018-paper-and-video-android-app-deobfuscation-using-static-dynamic-cooperation/

VB2018 paper: Little Brother is watching – we know all your secrets!

At VB2018 in Montreal, researchers from Fraunhofer SIT looked at privacy vulnerabilities in legitimate Android family-tracking apps that leaked location data. Today, we publish both their paper and the video of their presentation.
The use of mobile spyware to spy on (ex-)partners is an underreported problem, despite the prevalence of such apps and their use in cases of domestic violence. At VB2017 in… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/02/vb2018-paper-little-brother-watching-we-know-all-your-secrets/

VB2018 paper: Unpacking the packed unpacker: reversing an Android anti-analysis library

Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Google researcher Maddie Stone in which she looks at one of the most interesting anti-analysis native libraries in the Android ecosystem. We also release the recording of Maddie's presentation.
Though still relatively new (the first VB conference paper on Android malware was presented in 2011), malware targeting the Android mobile operating system has evolved quickly, in… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/01/vb2018-paper-unpacking-packed-unpacker-reversing-android-anti-analysis-library/

VB2018 video: Triada: the past, the present and the (hopefully not existing) future

Today we publish the video of the VB2018 presentation by Google researcher Lukasz Siewierski on the Triada Android malware and Google's work with OEMs to remove it from infected devices.
From NotPetya to Shadowpad, supply chain attacks have become a serious and hard-to-fight security problem. One prominent type of supply chain attack involves the pre-installation… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/11/vb2018-video-triada-past-present-and-hopefully-not-existing-future/

VB2018 preview: Workshops

Workshops make their VB Conference debut during VB2018, giving delegates the opportunity to learn the basics of kernel-level malware analysis, Android reverse-engineering and artificial intelligence.
The Virus Bulletin Conference is first and foremost a place to learn: about new threats, about the tools used to detect and fight them, and to learn about (and get to know) the… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/09/vb2018-preview-workshops/

VB2018 preview: Unpacking the packed unpacker: reversing an Android anti-analysis library

At VB2018, Google researcher Maddie Stone will present an analysis of the multi-layered 'WeddingCake' anti-analysis library used by many Android malware families.
Seven years ago, the first VB conference paper on Android malware looked at what was then a new, but growing trend. Since then both the threat and the research community have… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/08/vb2018-preview-unpacking-packed-unpacker-reversing-android-anti-analysis-library/

New paper: Does malware based on Spectre exist?

It is likely that, by now, everyone in computer science has at least heard of the Spectre attack, and many excellent explanations of the attack already exist. But what is the likelihood of finding Spectre being exploited on Android smartphones?
The discovery of the Spectre and Meltdown attacks in January cast a long shadow over the year, with many of the issued security patches having their own problems and several new… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/07/new-paper-does-malware-based-spectre-exist/

VB2017 paper: Android reverse engineering tools: not the usual suspects

Within a few years, Android malware has grown from a relatively small threat to a huge problem involving more than three million new malware samples a year. Axelle Apvrille, one of the world's leading Android malware researchers, will deliver a workshop o…
Within a few years, Android malware has grown from a relatively small threat – the first VB conference talk on Android, in 2011, mentioned fewer than 100 malware families – to a… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/04/vb2017-paper-android-reverse-engineering-tools-not-usual-suspects/

VB2016 paper: Wild Android collusions

At VB2016 in Denver, Jorge Blasco presented a paper (co-written with Thomas M. Chen, Igor Muttik and Markus Roggenbach), in which he discussed the concept of app collusion - where two (or more) apps installed on the same device work together to collect an…
Playing out in the sidelines of the Cambridge Analytica scandal was the discovery that Facebook had been collecting metadata on the calls and SMS conversations of many of the… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/03/vb2016-paper-wild-android-collusions/

Tizi Android malware highlights the importance of security patches for high-risk users

Researchers from Google have taken down 'Tizi', an Android malware family, that used nine already patched vulnerabilities to obtain root on infected devices.
A well-known security researcher once said: "if you purposely choose Android you are either Poor, Cheap, or really hate Apple." Android has a bad reputation in security… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/11/tizi-android-malware-highlights-importance-security-patches-high-risk-users/

Vulnerabilities play only a tiny role in the security risks that come with mobile phones

Both bad news (all devices were pwnd) and good news (pwning is increasingly difficult) came from the most recent mobile Pwn2Own competition. But the practical security risks that come with using mobile phones have little to do with vulnerabilities.
Last week saw yet another successful edition of Mobile Pwn2Own, the contest in which participants are challenged to attack fully patched mobile devices using previously unknown… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/11/vulnerabilities-play-only-tiny-role-security-risks-come-mobile-phones/

VB2017 preview: Android reverse engineering tools: not the usual suspects

We preview the VB2017 paper by Fortinet researcher Axelle Apvrille, in which she looks at some less obvious tools for reverse engineering Android malware.
Six years ago (coincidentally the last time the VB conference was held in Spain) saw the first VB conference paper presented on Android malware, which at that time was still an… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/vb2017-preview-android-reverse-engineering-tools-not-usual-suspects/

VB2017: nine last-minute papers announced

From attacks on Ukraine's power grid to web shells, and from car hacking to ransomware: we announce the first nine 'last-minute' papers on the VB2017 programme.
At Virus Bulletin we try not to follow the daily security hype, focusing instead on the bigger trends. This means that the topics covered on the VB2017 conference programme – the… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/vb2017-nine-last-minute-papers-announced/

WireX DDoS botnet takedown shows the best side of the security industry

Collaboration between a number of security companies has led to the takedown of the WireX Android DDoS botnet. Efforts like these, and the fact that the companies involved all decided to publish the very same blog post, show the best side of the security …
It is easy to be cynical about the security industry and its tendency to make ever bigger mountains out of molehills, but behind a thin layer of marketing, there are a great many… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/08/wirex-ddos-botnet-takedown-shows-best-side-security-industry/

VB2016 preview: Wild Android Collusions

Full technical details of the first in-the-wild Android app 'collusion' attack, where multiple apps perform an attack in collaboration, will be shared with the public in at VB2016 in Denver on 5 October.
Most research into and protection against malicious apps focuses on single apps. This makes it interesting for malware authors to use app 'collusion': the ability of two (or more)… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/08/vb2016-preview-wild-android-collusions/

Small Talks return to the Virus Bulletin Conference

Following their success last year, this year a series of "Small Talks" return to the VB2016 conference programme. We are pleased to announce the details of six of these talks, covering subjects that range from the Chinese cybercriminal underground to Andr…
VB2015 was the 25th Virus Bulletin conference and, to celebrate the occasion, we added a third stream to the programme. Dubbed "Small Talks", these talks were longer than those on… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/08/small-talks-return-virus-bulletin-conference/

VB2015 paper: Will Android Trojans, Worms or Rootkits Survive in SEAndroid and Containerization?

Sophos researchers Rowland Yu and William Lee look at whether recent security enhancements to Android, such as SEAndroid and containerization, will be enough to defeat future malware threats.
Google's Android operating system may have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to security, but it's worth noting that recent versions of the operating system have been… https://virusbulletin.com/blog/2016/02/vb2015-paper-will-android-trojans-worms-or-rootkits-survive-seandroid-and-containerization/

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