Feeds

Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

Sophisticated code stays hidden but can wreak havoc

Security for virtualized datacentres

Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab report that a recently discovered Android Trojan is the most sophisticated such mobile malware yet to be identified.

In a post to Kaspersky Lab's Securelist blog, security expert Roman Unuchek describes the malicious program, dubbed Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a or "Obad" for short, as being closer to Windows malware than to your typical mobile Trojan, owing to its complexity and sophistication.

Obad uses multiple layers of encryption and code obfuscation to conceal what it's doing, and it exploits previously unknown vulnerabilities in the Android OS to gain near total control over a device.

It runs in the background and has no visible user interface, but communicates with command and control (C&C) servers over the device's internet connection, and can even accept commands via SMS text messages.

Worse, once Obad gains Device Administrator privileges, it takes advantage of an Android vulnerability to hide itself from the list of applications that have such privileges, making it impossible for the user to remove it from the device.

Once installed, Obad can be commanded to perform a variety of functions. It can connect to internet addresses, ping servers, download files from servers and install them, and send text messages. It can also send data about the compromised device to the C&C servers, including information about installed applications and the user's contact data.

Screenshot showing Obad Android Trojan activity

Don't do it

On the more sophisticated side, Obad can allow cybercriminals to execute console commands via remote shell, send files to all detected Bluetooth devices, and can act as a proxy server, sending data to a specified address and returning the response.

What's more, Obad has the ability to block the device's screen for up to ten seconds, to help conceal its malicious activity from the user.

Kaspersky Lab has offered no theory as to who might be running the Obad malware, and no point of origin has been identified.

Unuchek says Kaspersky has already informed Google about the Android vulnerabilities exploited by the Trojan, and Obad can now be detected by security software from Kaspersky and other vendors.

If there is a bright spot to any of this, it's that however sophisticated, Obad is still relatively rare. Over a three-day observation period, Kaspersky Lab found that Obad accounted for no more than 0.15 per cent of all attempts to infect mobile devices with malware – for now, at least. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.