Feeds

China targeted by new Android Trojan

Bootkit attack hits '350,000 devices'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Russian security researchers are warning about an Android Trojan called Oldboot that has infected 350,000 devices worldwide.

According to this post at Dr Web, Oldboot has a characteristic that makes it hard to deal with: some of the Trojan's components are loaded into the boot partition of the Android file system. By acting as a bootkit, the researchers claim, it's less likely to be deleted.

The “very unusual” technique involves:

“placing one of the Trojan components into the boot partition of the file system and modifying the init script which is responsible for the initialisation of OS components. When the mobile phone is turned on, this script loads the code of the Trojan Linux-library imei_chk (Dr.Web Anti-virus detects it as Android.Oldboot.1), which extracts the files libgooglekernel.so (Android.Oldboot.2) and GoogleKernel.apk (Android.Oldboot.1.origin) and places them in /system/lib and /system/app, respectively.”

The bootkit operation of Oldboot leads Dr Web to suggest that it's being distributed via corrupted firmware that victims are using to reflash their devices. Once Oldboot is in place, it connects to a remote server to get its instructions – including as they coyly put it “to install or remove certain applications” (El Reg would speculate that apps removed by Oldboot would include security software).

Dr Web says of the 350,000 devices its analysts believe have been infected, 92 per cent are in China. Infections have also been found in Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Brazil, the USA and some South East Asian countries. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'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
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.