Paper: a timeline of mobile botnets

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Mar 30, 2015

Ruchna Nigam provides an overview of more than 60 mobile malware families.

The rise of mobile malware is still a relatively recent thing, with the first actual mobile botnets not appearing until the beginning of this decade.

However, since then things have changed quickly, and today there are more than one million known mobile malware samples (though not families) in existence and mobile malware is almost as common as malware targeting desktops (even if there are some fundamental differences between the two).

Today, we publish a paper by Fortinet researcher Ruchna Nigam, in which she presents a timeline of mobile botnets.

Not only does Ruchna list more than 60 mobile botnets (including well-known names such as Zitmo, NotCompatible, Xsser and DroidKungFu) and provide basic information on all of them, she also takes a closer look at some particularly interesting variants.

  Location-grabbing functionality in Android/SmsHowU, discovered in September 2010.

Moreover, in her paper Ruchna takes a look at how mobile malware, not unlike malware targeting desktop operating systems, uses anti-debugging tricks, code obfuscation and traffic encryption.

She finishes her paper by providing some statistics on mobile botnets, including the C&C channel used, the motivation behind the malware and the kinds of certificates used to sign the APK files.

You can read the paper here in HTML format or here as a PDF. (Remember that all content published by Virus Bulletin can be read free of charge, with no registration required.)

Ruchna's paper was originally presented at and published by Botconf 2014 and was republished with permission. My review of the 2014 edition of Botconf can be found here. The call for papers for its third edition, which will take place 2-4 December in Paris, France, can be found here.



Posted on 30 March 2015 by Martijn Grooten
twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Necurs pump-and-dump spam campaign pushes obscure cryptocurrency

A Necurs pump-and-dump spam campaign pushing the lesser known Swisscoin botnet is mostly background noise for the Internet.

Alleged author of creepy FruitFly macOS malware arrested

A 28-year old man from Ohio has been arrested on suspicion of having created the mysterious FruitFly malware that targeted macOS and used it to spy on its victims.

The threat and security product landscape in 2017

At the start of the new year, Virus Bulletin looks back at the threats seen in the 2017 and at the security products that are available to help mitigate them.

Spamhaus report shows many botnet controllers look a lot like legitimate servers

Spamhaus's annual report on botnet activity shows that botherders tend to use popular, legitimate hosting providers, domain registrars and top-level domains when setting up command-and-control servers.

Tips on researching tech support scams

As tech support scammers continue to target the computer illiterate through cold calling, VB's Martijn Grooten uses his own experience to share some advice on how to investigate such scams.