Feeds

Researchers hide malware from Google Bouncer

Nastyware makes it into Android Market

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Google’s Bouncer malware detection system might not be as strong as the Chocolate Factory hopes, with a pair of security researchers demonstrating flaws in the system.

Duo Security’s Jon Oberheide and Charlie Miller, preparing a presentation for this week’s SummerCon in Brooklyn, have demonstrated that it’s possible to slip a malicious app past Bouncer’s protection and into the Android market.

The demonstration in video below shows Oberheide accessing the remote shell to, as he puts it, “look for interesting attributes of the Bouncer environment such as the version of the kernel it’s running, the contents of the filesystem, or information about some of the devices emulated by the Bouncer environment.”

Watch Video

The point, Oberheide says, is that by fingerprinting the Bouncer environment, it’s also possible to identify the characteristics that Bouncer is looking for to identify malicious apps – and to avoid triggering its alarms. He told Threatpost that malware authors are likely to create a library to help bypass Bouncer.

While it would always be safe to assume that Google tests submitted apps on a virtualized phone, Oberheid says by poking around in the virtualized environment, malware authors would be able to work out how to make an app play nice while being tested, and only activate an attack once it’s running on a real phone.

Oberheid’s test showed QEMU as the virtualization environment Google is using.

At the time of their test – since we can probably assume that Google is already revising the test architecture – the researchers have told Forbes the Bouncer test phone is registered to a single user account (Miles.Karlson@gmail.com) and stores two pics (cat.jpg and ladygaga.jpg) as bait for malicious apps to try and steal. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.