Feeds

Anti-PRISM Trojan explodes over Jay-Z fans

Downloaded music by Jay-Z ... all I got was snooped, dog

Boost IT visibility and business value

Fans of rapper Jay-Z who thought they'd grabbed hold of an app granting them access to an early release of his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail have found themselves on the receiving end of an anti-PRISM Android Trojan designed to slurp all their data, according to security researchers. It is not yet clear if the data-stealing functionality is being used by the malware-flingers, however.

The malicious code poses as a real app released through the official Google Play store and designed to mark the recent release of Magna Carta Holy Grail. The legit version is exclusively available on Samsung devices.

The malicious (pirated) version of the software, discovered on unofficial Android app sites by researchers at McAfee, starts a service called “NSAListenerService” which surreptitiously uploads data from compromised devices every time the phone restarts. It's also programmed to download additional malware components every time it phones home.

Yesterday, on the 4th of July, the malware broke cover. Android-AntiObscan is programmed to change the infected device’s wallpaper to an image of Barack Obama wearing headphones under a banner of “YES WE SCAN” along with the sub-headline “We are watching you”.

The image is a reference to the "YES WE CAN" iconic first-term election posters used by the Obama campaign. The whole set-up goes even further back to the era of old-school politically motivated malware, reminiscent of a more innocent time before cybercrooks and state-sponsored cyberspies dominated the malware landscape.

However the mobile application is still designed to steal information from compromised devices, so it's perhaps too early to dismiss its activity as a harmless political prank, security researchers warn.

"What we have here appears at first glance to be old-school politically-motivated malware, designed to make a point and spread a message rather than necessarily make money for its creators," writes independent anti-virus expert Graham Cluley.

"However, the fact that McAfee claims that some information is shared with a third-party server and the malware downloads additional code does raise alarm bells.

"The official Play store, governed by Google, hasn’t been entirely successful at keeping malware out in the past – but it is certainly a safer place to get your apps than some of the third-party unofficial Android marketplaces out there," Cluley added.

McAfee researcher Irfan Asrar adds: "The image and the service name NSAListener suggest a hacktivist agenda, but we haven’t ruled out the possibility that additional malware may target financial transactions or other data." ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?