Feeds

Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

That off-brand Chinese smartphone you bought on eBay might not be secure

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Security firm G-Data is warning users about their discovery of malware shipping preinstalled on some Chinese mobile phones.

The German researchers said that they followed up on customer tips to study the Star N9500 mobile phone. The handsets, sold on eBay and many other online retail sites, are said to primarily be shipped out of China, and can be loosely described as a clone of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

While G-Data said that it has been unable to track down the company behind the N9500, the security firm believes that one or more organizations are selling the handsets new with malware bundled in.

The company said in its report that researchers have spotted a spyware bundle on handsets being offered for sale in Europe at costs ranging from €130 to €165. The Android handsets were found to contain a fake copy of the Google Play app and the Uupay.D Android trojan installed directly in the handset's firmware.

Researchers believe that the malware performs a number of basic spyware functions such as listening in on phone and SMS conversations, reading email messages, and collecting mobile browsing information and account data.

G-Data reported that the infected handset it studied was uploading user information to a server in China, though the location of the person(s) actually extracting the data was not known.

The report comes as Android malware continues to rise. Apple boss Tim Cook recently gloated over a mobile security situation for Android he called a "hellstew" of malware.

Last week, researchers with Kaspersky noted that malware writers in Russia have been repackaging their ransomware trojans to target mobile phone users in the US.

China, which has long had a strong market for domestically produced "clone" hardware and devices, has also seen an underground market for attack tools and services arise in recent years. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
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?