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
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7227
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
Westermo MRD-315 1.7.3 and 1.7.4 devices have an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an authenticated remote attacker to retrieve the source code of different functions of the web application via requests that lack certain mandatory parameters. This affects ifaces-diag.asp, system.asp, ...
CVE-2019-15625
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A memory usage vulnerability exists in Trend Micro Password Manager 3.8 that could allow an attacker with access and permissions to the victim's memory processes to extract sensitive information.
CVE-2019-19696
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A RootCA vulnerability found in Trend Micro Password Manager for Windows and macOS exists where the localhost.key of RootCA.crt might be improperly accessed by an unauthorized party and could be used to create malicious self-signed SSL certificates, allowing an attacker to misdirect a user to phishi...
CVE-2019-19697
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products which could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and tamper with protected services by disabling or otherwise preventing them to start. An attacker must already have administr...
CVE-2019-20357
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A Persistent Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2020 (v160 and 2019 (v15) consumer familiy of products which could potentially allow an attacker the ability to create a malicious program to escalate privileges and attain persistence on a vulnerable system.