Feeds

'BadNews is malware' says outfit that found it

Google says code harmless but Lookout says code base is evolving

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The BadNews malware debate continues to be batted back and forth, with Lookout, the company that first raised the alarm, maintaining that it is malware in the face of Google's assertion last week that it had seen no malicious activity associated with apps carrying the malware.

In conversation with The Register, Lookout's security product manager Jeremy Linden said the company not only remains confident that BadNews is malware, but that the security vendor is seeing “evolution of the code base”.

When BadNews was discovered, Lookout said it was present in 32 apps on Google Play which, combined, had been downloaded millions of times.

Last week, Google told a security conference “it had no evidence that BadNews was playing a part in the distribution of SMS-borne frauds”, adding that “we haven't seen a single instance of abusive SMS applications being downloaded as a result of BadNews”.

Linden has now told The Register that “Our analysis confirms that BadNews does prompt the user to install a malware application,” but that it was written “to avoid detection”. It remains quiet most of the time, he said, only becoming active for a few minutes at a time.

“There's a high possibility that Google hasn't seen it sending malware,” Linden told The Register. “We have systems that act like they're infected clients, so they can sit on the malware networks and log malicious traffic.

“We are still seeing traffic from BadNews and we're seeing an evolution of the code base.”

He said that BadNews' operators are “adding features” to increase the malicious activity of the malware, and said Lookout believes “the same developers are behind other explicitly malicious code.”

The Register invited Google to provide comment for this story, but has received no response. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.