Feeds

Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

Sophisticated code stays hidden but can wreak havoc

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.