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:

VB2018 video: Shedding skin - Turla's fresh faces

Today, we have published the video of a VB2018 presentation by Kaspersky Lab researchers Kurt Baumgartner and Mike Scott, who looked at the latest activity of the Turla group.

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.

VB2018 paper: Uncovering the wholesale industry of social media fraud: from botnet to bulk reseller panels

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Masarah Paquet-Clouston (GoSecure) who looked at the supply chain behind social media fraud.

VB2018 paper: Now you see it, now you don't: wipers in the wild

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper from Saher Naumaan (BAE Systems) who looks at malware variants that contain a wiper functionality. We also publish the recording of her presentation.

Emotet trojan starts stealing full emails from infected machines

The infamous Emotet trojan has added the capability to steal full email bodies from infected machines, opening the possibilities for more targeted spam and phishing campaigns.

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.