Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

10/3/2019
05:00 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
50%
50%

Florida Poly Researcher Targets New Android cyber Attack

A researcher points to two-part malware as a rising factor in mobile threats.

The malicious Android apps of the future will truly be wolves in sheep's clothing, according to Florida Polytechnic University researcher Karim Elish. He said the inevitable practice of malware collusion will see an app operating as advertised and harming nothing until a companion app is installed. The two will then work in tandem to hijack an Android device, steal data, or incur charges to the user.

Elish, assistant professor of Computer Science, is working on a solution to stay a step ahead of cyber criminals and this emerging malware collusion.

"Most of the cybersecurity community is talking about this problem, which means it’s going to happen sooner or later," he said. "We are trying to propose a defensive technique before it happens."

The research titled "Identifying Mobile Inter-App Communication Risks" was recently published in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing.

"The technique we developed is based on static analysis," he said. "We analyze the source code or the byte code of the apps and try to extract some kind of features that distinguish the malware collusion from the regular benign apps."

When done successfully, users should be able to identify whether the fun new game they’re downloading is actually part of a malicious pair of apps working together to harm the user. The experimental evaluation outlined in the published paper was based on real apps in the Google Play online marketplace, but was tested on a proof of concept.

With 2.7 million apps in the Google Play store, which provides access to Android devices, Elish is certain cybersecurity researchers must work harder than ever to stay ahead of those preying upon Android users.

“\"When we build a solution to protect the system and the user, we have accomplished something extremely important and useful for the entire community," he said.

Co-authors on the research paper are Haipeng Cal, faculty member at Washington State University; Daniel Barton, software engineer at Lockheed Martin; Danfeng Yao, faculty member at Virginia Tech; and Barbara Ryder, faculty member at Virginia Tech.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
6 Small-Business Password Managers
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/8/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-5271
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
Pacemaker before 1.1.6 configure script creates temporary files insecurely
CVE-2014-3599
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
HornetQ REST is vulnerable to XML External Entity due to insecure configuration of RestEasy
CVE-2014-7143
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
Python Twisted 14.0 trustRoot is not respected in HTTP client
CVE-2018-18819
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
A vulnerability in the web conference chat component of MiCollab, versions 7.3 PR6 (7.3.0.601) and earlier, and 8.0 (8.0.0.40) through 8.0 SP2 FP2 (8.0.2.202), and MiVoice Business Express versions 7.3 PR3 (7.3.1.302) and earlier, and 8.0 (8.0.0.40) through 8.0 SP2 FP1 (8.0.2.202), could allow creat...
CVE-2019-18658
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
In Helm 2.x before 2.15.2, commands that deal with loading a chart as a directory or packaging a chart provide an opportunity for a maliciously designed chart to include sensitive content such as /etc/passwd, or to execute a denial of service (DoS) via a special file such as /dev/urandom, via symlin...