Android Malware is on the rise, say researchers at G Data Security. A new report by the security firm revealed that in the first of 2017, over 750, 000 new malware apps were discovered. Android holds a 72 percent share of the mobile market and so it is reasonable that more attacks would happen on this platform. The number of malware samples cropping up each day are nonetheless staggering and there's no sign the problem will be corrected anytime soon. Since 2012, new Android malware samples have increased each year with the greatest hikes occurring over the last year.
Malicious Android apps harboring the Joker malware have been discovered in the Google Play Store. On Tuesday, cybersecurity researchers from Zscaler's ThreatLabz said that a total of 11 apps were recently discovered and found to be "regularly uploaded" to the official app repository, accounting for approximately 30,000 installs between them. The Joker malware family is a well-known variant that focuses on compromising Android devices. Joker is designed to spy on its victims, steal information, harvest contact lists, and monitor SMS messaging. When malicious apps containing Joker land on a handset, they may be used to conduct financial fraud, such as by covertly sending text messages to premium numbers or by signing up victims to wireless application protocol (WAP) services, earning their operators a slice of the proceeds.
Google has done a lot to thwart Android malware in recent months, but it's apparent there's still some work to do. Symantec recently discovered seven previously removed rogue apps that resurfaced on Google Play simply by using a new publisher and new app names. The titles masqueraded as productivity apps and would even use official Google imagery to hide their origins, but would push ads and scam websites if they were allowed to stay for four hours. It's not clear how the apps slipped through, but Google has since taken them down. We've asked the company for comment.
Although Linux is a much more secure operating system compared to the more widely used Windows, it is not impervious to misconfigurations and malware infections. Over the past decade, the number of malware families targeting Linux has grown, but the total number of threats is still orders of magnitude under the malware numbers reported attacking Windows systems. This smaller number of threats has resulted in cyber-security firms paying much less attention to the Linux malware ecosystem than they normally do to its Windows counterpart. So it is to no surprise that some Linux malware families have only now been discovered after operating unseen for more than four years. In a report published yesterday by cyber-security firm ESET, the company details 21 "new" Linux malware families.
Most Android malware is at best annoying, but rarely does it cause physical damage to a phone. Not so with Loapi, a newly-discovered trojan with a cryptocurrency miner that worked a phone so hard its battery swelled up and burst open the device's back cover. Kaspersky Lab researchers found the malware lurking in about 20 bogus apps. The researchers decided to infect an Android phone with the malware, which wrecked the phone within 48 hours. Cryptocurrency miners are known to cause wear and tear on hardware by using a CPU to solve a cryptographic challenge.